Nebraska Puts Mediator Maintenance, Access Online

The Nebraska court system’s Office of Dispute Resolution has introduced a new way to list, supervise training, and manage its family court mediators.

People searching for mediators will benefit too, from better access.

Faced with a need to update guidelines and ensure compliance, the Nebraska Judicial Branch Office of Dispute Resolution, or ODR, this week launched a paperless, web-based  training and reporting system for mediators.

The new system comes from the state’s use of mediation in family court.  The state’s mediation-heavy Parenting Act  requires neutrals to make biennial reports to the Office of Dispute Resolution, and update their continuing education coursework.

The ODR uses a single webpage to provide the information mediators need, including links for reporting. The same page also allows users of the mediation process to evaluate apprentice mediators, and provides a list of parenting mediators and their details.

This is a good example for ADR service providers looking to reduce transaction costs and increase dispute resolution process efficiency.  Mediators can now upload and update their information at any time during the year, saving clerical and mailing costs, and even reducing the need to visit the ODR office.

The system helps the ODR by reducing paper records, and automatically ciphering out outdated mediator records. It allows the office to alert mediators about training requirement automatically, when deadlines approach but completed courses haven't been registered..

Most significant, it is good for the ADR user because consumers have access to instantly updated information, providing more control over the mediation process.

--Iram Huq, CPR Intern