Dispute Resolution FAQs

What does the Dispute Resolution Section do?

What is mediation?

What is arbitration?

What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Does the Supreme Court of Ohio certify or license mediators?

Does the Supreme Court of Ohio certify mediation training?

Where do I get training if I want to become a mediator?

How do I get a job as a mediator in Ohio?

How do I get information about court-connected mediation in Ohio?

How do I develop a private mediation practice in Ohio?

Is funding for mediation programs available from the Supreme Court of Ohio?

Does the Supreme Court have training or other materials available to the public and courts?

How do I select a mediator?

What does the Dispute Resolution Section do?

The Dispute Resolution Section provides consulting, training and limited funding support to new and existing court-connected mediation programs. Mediation programs are located in both trial and appellate courts. The section does not provide any direct mediation services.

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What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process in which a third party neutral, the mediator, assists the parties to a dispute in crafting a resolution that is acceptable to both sides.

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What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a voluntary process in which a third party neutral, the arbitrator, hears the facts of the case and renders a decision that may be binding upon the parties. Parties may agree to arbitration in a contract or after the dispute arises. Court-ordered arbitration in Ohio is mandatory and non-binding. Arbitration is less formal than a court or jury trial.

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What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

In mediation, the parties control the outcome or agreement. In arbitration, the arbitrator will make a decision based on the evidence presented. Mediation agreements may be broad while arbitration decisions are limited to the facts presented in the arbitration hearing.

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Does the Supreme Court of Ohio certify or license mediators?

Neither the State of Ohio nor the Supreme Court of Ohio licenses or certifies mediators. The Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Dispute Resolution has advised against certification and licensure because mediation research shows that there is no particular training or educational credential that ensures a good mediator. The Committee supports the use of a variety of approaches, such as training and mentoring, to ensure that mediators are highly skilled.

The Supreme Court of Ohio has established specific guidelines for qualifications for family court mediators. See Rule 16 of the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/LegalResources/Rules/superintendence/Superintendence.pdf#Rule16. Courts may set additional qualifications for mediators in their local court rules.

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Does the Supreme Court of Ohio certify mediation training?

The Dispute Resolution Section does certify 40-hour advanced family mediation training that is required under Rule 16 of the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts. Certification of a Training Program does not allow individuals trained in that program to identify themselves as “Supreme Court certified mediators.” Please note that Rule 16 certification does not provide Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit. Forms for obtaining CLE approval are available at http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/AttySvcs/CLE.

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Where do I get training if I want to become a mediator?

The Dispute Resolution Section Events Calendars can be found at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/disputeResolution.

Training information may also be available from national dispute resolution organizations, such as the American Bar Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and Mediate.com.

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How do I get a job as a mediator in Ohio?

Currently, the number of jobs available in mediation appears to be disproportionate to the number of practitioners and the high level of interest in those positions. The typical way to get a job is to obtain basic mediation training and begin practice in a community center, court program or other agency that offers mediation. These initial positions may be as volunteers or contract mediators.

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How do I get information about court-connected mediation in Ohio?

Rule 16 of the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts sets forth some basic requirements for family mediators that are applicable to many kinds of mediation. Specifically, it requires that mediators who mediate allocation of parenting responsibilities have:

Local courts may require observation of and mentoring with experienced mediators, continuing education for mediators and that those mediators maintain malpractice insurance coverage.

National standards of practice for mediators and ethical guidelines can be found at the following Web sites:

Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators: www.abanet.org/dispute/home.html

Proposed Revised Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (final draft) 12/29/04 http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/dr/msoc/index.html

Model Standards of Practice for Family Mediators:
www.afccnet.org

Information about trial and appellate court mediation in Ohio can be found at http://www.disputeresolution.ohio.gov/nfpmap.htm. Mediation is available for selected Supreme Court cases. For more information about the Mediation Section, call 614.387.9355.

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How do I develop a private mediation practice in Ohio?

There are several books available; Mediation Career Guide and Becoming a Mediator are two. These books detail the elements of developing a private mediation practice. Books can be found online at various Web sites of major book retailers.

There are a number of resources that may be accessed to gain insight into the field of mediation and begin the networking process: Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR) http://www.acrnet.org and American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution (ABA) http://www.abanet.org/dispute/home.html. In Ohio: Mediation Association of Northeast Ohio http://www.manomediate.org; Mediation Information and Resource Center (MIRC) http://www.mediate.com; Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management (OCRDCM) http://www.state.oh.us/cdr; Ohio Community Mediation Association (OCMA) http://www.ohiocommunitymediation.org; Ohio Mediation Association (OMA) http://www.mediateohio.org; Ohio Minority Professionals in ADR, contact: Christy Walker 614.462.6147.

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Is funding for mediation programs available from the Supreme Court of Ohio?

Limited funding in the form of reimbursement grants is available to support trial and appellate court mediation programs in Ohio courts. When funds are available, grant guidelines are published on the Web site: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/disputeResolution/funding.

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Does the Supreme Court have training or other materials available to the public and courts?

Training materials and training programs are offered regularly for court staff and by special arrangement for individual courts and organizations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide training for the general public. To inquire about training for court-connected mediators, contact the Dispute Resolution Section.

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How do I select a mediator?

You may select a mediator based on a variety of factors—training, experience, cost, location, subject matter or process expertise. See the Consumer's Guide to Selecting a Mediator at http://www.state.oh.us/cdr/Brochures/cgmediator.htm. Directories of mediators are available from the following:

Local courts and bar associations may also maintain directories or rosters of mediators.

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