Online Mediation – Why It Works So Well at the Los Angeles County’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs

Online Mediation - Los Angeles County Consumer and Business Affairs

Why the Online Dispute Resolution System of the Los Angeles County’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) Works So Well

Lynn Johnson - Independent Technology Advisor and Mediator

On December 10, 2015 Lynn Johnson, an Independent Technology Advisor and Mediator, posted on his website an article titled Observations of the Los Angeles County’s, Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Online Dispute Resolution System.

It explains why the DCBA Online Dispute Resolution program – which is now available to the public not only face-to-face and by phone, but also by video – is so successful. According to Mr. Johnson, the DCBA “case load grew from fewer than 500 in 2012-13 to over 3000 in 2014-15”.

Since my name was mentioned in his article, I sent Mr. Johnson this comment.

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Lynn Johnson:

What an interesting article. Thank you. When last year I trained a group of mediators of the Los Angeles County’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to mediate online via Zoom, I had no doubt that their innovative Online Dispute Resolution project would be successful – for 3 reasons.

1 – Mediation Experience – Their mediators had already extensive experience mediating face-to-face and by phone, and therefore the next step – mediating by video – seemed natural.

2 – Motivation – After their mediators participated in a series of simulations of online mediation simulations, they became fully aware of (and loved) the benefits that video mediation could offer to the public.

3 – Leadership – Throughout our training, Caroline Torosis proved to have great organizational skills. And when I interviewed her after our training  (watch the 10-min video below) it was clear that:

  • The plan she had in mind for taking her Department to the next level – from mediation face-to-face and by phone to mediation by video – was well-thought-out.
  • She believed in it, and was determined to make it work.

Giuseppe Leone
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