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Incorporating Facilitative Mediation Into Voluntary Settlement Conferences in Family Law Cases: A Strategy for Success"

Utilizing funding made available through the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act, OC Human Relations has developed an innovative program leveraging volunteer community mediators to reshape the experience for family court litigants by taking them out of the adversarial courtroom and into the cooperative environment of mediation. The program emphasizes facilitative mediation in lieu of the more traditional evaluative settlement process. Data gathered from over 1000 cases support the notion that this facilitative focus empowers litigants to overcome communication barriers and results in higher satisfaction with the court process. This workshop will explore how the "facilitative settlement conference" differs and discuss why it may be particularly effective in the family court setting. 


Alfonso Clarke is the director of the OC Human Relations Dispute Resolution Program which provides mediation services to Orange County residents for community and civil matters.  He has been with OC Human Relations for 16 years and a mediator for over 20 years.  He facilitates mediation trainings, supervises and mentors a dynamic team of staff, volunteer and intern mediators.  And he has served on the committee for 16 years and been past Treasurer and Chair during his tenure.