Online Non-recommending Mediation Orientation Program - Napa Superior Court

Family Law icon Project Name: Online Non-recommending Mediation Orientation Program
Court: Napa Superior Court
   Links: Court Family Division Webpage

Overview/Program Description:

An online orientation for non-recommending mediation was developed and created to better prepare for impending non-recommending mediation in the court's Family Court Services department. The orientation consists of a host of presentation slides divided into four areas and designed to educate participants on what to expect from the mediation process. Each section is followed by a series of three questions confirming that the participant understood key elements of each section. The questions are linked to the presentation using survey software, and links back to the ensuing set of slides for the following section. Upon completion, the presentation will take the participant to an intake form that can be filled out online, and ultimately to a resource page. Although the development of the project was limited to internal resources, the local bar association was presented with drafts throughout the process to better refine the presentation. The presentation was approved by the local bar and the judicial officers. The online orientation is presented in both English and Spanish.

Program Benefits/Savings:

Benefits to the court:

  • Fewer staff are needed to present in-person orientation. Previously, it took twelve hours per month for English-speaking and six hours per month for Spanish-speaking mediators to present in-person. This freed up 18 hours for mediators to take more appointments and serve the public in a timelier manner.
  • The online intake form allowed mediators to review participant information earlier in the process than the old model. Previously, participants would go to the in-person orientation, come back 30 minutes before their non-recommending mediation appointment, and then complete the intake form which didn’t give the mediator as much time to review the case. The current model affords the mediator the opportunity to download intake forms further out from their non-recommending mediation appointment, thus allowing more time to prepare.

Benefits to users:

  • Increased accessibility. Participants are not required to appear at a specific time during the day for orientation. They can access the orientation 24 hours a day.
  • The presentation can be printed to allow the participant to review and better prepare for non-recommending mediation
  • Orientation can be completed on mobile devices.