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April 12, 2012
Oregon Municipal Court Launches Model Mediation Program

Oregon Municipal Court is providing mediation services at a minimal cost to parties using a model mediation program created in collaboration with the Dispute Resolution Section of the Ohio Supreme Court. To provide quality mediation services, it is necessary for courts to have a system in place that includes a process, forms, procedures, local rule, and training for mediators.

Oregon Municipal Court Judge Jeff Keller and Jacqueline Hagerott, manager of the Dispute Resolution Section, assembled a team to design a model municipal court mediation program. This program can be modified by other municipal courts to meet the needs and available resources of their community. 

The team, led by Hagerott, consisted of Judge Keller, Kimberly Walls, deputy clerk, and Steffanie Sawmiller, clerk of court, for the Oregon Municipal Court; Thomas Douglas, attorney and mediator; James Petas, senior mediator at the Toledo Municipal Court; Cathleen Kuhl, Hamilton County Municipal Court Private Complaint Mediation director; Hamilton County Municipal Court; and Eileen Pruett, Small Claims Division and Dispute Resolution Programs manager for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. 

Douglas, Walls, Petas, and Hagerott also served as faculty to provide training for the roster of volunteer mediators.

 “On behalf of the Oregon Municipal Court, we are pleased to once again offer a mediation program. I am convinced after spending time with the fine leaders from the mediation training program that renewing our mediation program is in the best interests of the court and its participants,” Judge Keller said.

 “Communities benefit when courts provide mediation services to assist parties in resolving their disputes because they learn the communication skills necessary to prevent future disputes from escalating,” Hagerott said.

Hagerott also noted that the Oregon Municipal Court created and will operate this program at no additional expense to the court.

Ohio is considered a national leader in the field of dispute resolution because of programs such as this, which incorporates the expertise of local courts throughout Ohio who have been providing mediation services for more than 20 years.

Access the Oregon Municipal Court Program Model, including documents and forms.

The model will continue to be updated as enhancements are made.

Local courts interested in enhancing current programs, designing new ones, and/or scheduling training at no cost to the local court should contact Jacqueline Hagerott at jacqueline.hagerott@sc.ohio.gov or 614.387.9422.