Early Settlement Mediation Program seeks Volunteers in Choctaw County

Sara Northcutt (left), mediation program director, is pictured with Lion Dr. Charles Elswick

Early Settlement Mediation is a program that is funded by the Administrative Office of the Courts of Oklahoma. The Southeast Program is sponsored by East Central University and housed in the Pittsburg County Courthouse in McAlester.

The program provides convenient access to dispute resolution proceedings which are fair, effective and inexpensive by utilizing volunteer mediators. The volunteer mediators’ help individuals explore solutions and reach mutually satisfactory agreements to disputes outside of the courtroom at little to no cost.

Unlike a court hearing in mediation the individuals are the ones who decide the outcome of their case if possible. If they are unable to reach a mutual agreement in mediation, they then have the opportunity for the Court to rule in their case. When parties settle in mediation they have an active role in making the decisions that will significantly affect their lives. Parties are more likely to stick to an agreement that they make themselves instead of the court system deciding for them.

The Early Settlement Mediation Southeast Program is offering a basic mediation course to recruit new volunteers in Choctaw County.

The two-day training will be held in Hugo on January 29th-30th, 2018.

This course is free and it serves as the first step in certifying new volunteer mediators to conduct mediation sessions under the authority of the Oklahoma Dispute Resolution Act of 1983 and the rules and procedures outlined by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Applicants must be able to volunteer for 10 hours a year for a minimum of two years.

Mediating for the court offers a unique and challenging means of community service that benefits both the court system and the citizens within the local region. This mediator training and volunteer experience provides a wonderful opportunity for personal growth and satisfaction.

The training is designed to develop communication skills and techniques that will enable mediators to assist disputing parties in finding creative and workable solutions to conflict.

The knowledge and skills acquired in the basic mediation course are valuable tools, which an individual may also use for conflicts, which arise in the day-today work, school, and family environment.

Seating for this basic training is limited, so individuals interested in applying may obtain an application by contacting Sara Northcutt, Southeast Program Director, at (918) 429-0386 or email Sara.Northcutt@oscn.net. Additional program information can be found at http://www.oscn.net/static/adr/default.aspx

Post Author: Examiner