OC Human Relations provides up to 8 hours of mediation services to Orange County residents at no cost to either side.

What is Mediation?

Mediation provides parties with a way to address a conflict situation before it escalates to the point that the parties go to court and/or personal relationships are destroyed. In mediation, parties work together in a non-adversarial process facilitated by the mediator to understand their different perspectives on the problem and collaborate to find a solution that can work for both of them. Mediation allows parties to focus on their unique set of circumstances and explore creative solutions in areas of disagreement.

The goal of the mediation is to help parties overcome communication obstacles that are preventing them from working together effectively to reach their own agreements. The mediator does not make decisions, suggest solutions, or provide any legal advice to the parties. Mediation sessions typically range from 2 to 3 hours. The mediator’s role in the process is to provide a safe place for the parties to:

  • Communicate individual needs and concerns effectively
  • Consider issues from different perspectives
  • Explore options for resolving difficult issues
  • Find mutually agreeable solutions

The length of a particular mediation varies depending on the complexity of the issues to be addressed and the emotional elements associated with the dispute. All communications during and associated with the mediation (including the initial inquiry) are confidential. While there is no guarantee that mediation will result in agreement on all issues, experience shows that parties benefit greatly from the cooperative climate of mediation.

At the conclusion of the mediation process, the mediator will prepare an Agreement Form listing the specific agreements the parties have reached. Parties have the option to keep the terms private just between them or to allow for the agreements to be binding and admissible in court. The mediator will work with the parties to help them decide which outcome is more appropriate for their situation. If the parties do not reach any agreements through the mediation process, they do not have to worry that participation in mediation can negatively impact them because discussions conducted during mediation are confidential.


Watch the videos below to get an understanding of what mediation is and what you can expect in a session:


For general questions about mediation or mediator training:

Contact Kathy Shimizu at 714-480-6581 or email: [email protected]