On April 5, 2016 the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Program of the Los Angeles County's Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) was recognized with an Outstanding Project Award - http://goo.gl/gvCL7L
Their ODR program, which expanded the department's existing mediation service, is accessible on the DCBA website. It allows parties involved in mediation to negotiate electronically at their convenience, without the need for in-person communication. Mediation can be used to resolve a number of issues including landlord and tenant disputes, neighbor disputes, debt settlements, and more.
The program was launched December 2014. As of March 2016, 230 cases were mediated using DCBA’s expanded services. Of the 230 cases, 133 cases were resolved at a resolution rate of 57%. Thanks to the ODR program, DCBA has been able to mediate cases more effectively and better serve populations who are unable to attend a traditional face to face mediation.
In 2014 a group of DCBA mediators participated in a training in online mediation and a series of online mediation simulations organized by Caroline Torosis, DCBA Dispute Resolution Program Manager, and Giuseppe Leone, founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, an online mediation project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter