Serving Ohio’s Mediators and those in need of Mediation services



Toledo Mediator James Petas, 1965-2020

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Ohio lost a beloved master mediator last week with the sudden death of James Petas. As a current board member and a past President of OMA, Jim served the public and the mediation profession with a gentle manner and deep dedication. OMA will provide a memorial article in the next newsletter. Here is a short excerpt from his obituary published in the Toledo Blade 12-09-20:
Jim devoted his professional career to caring for and assisting others. Through his work, Jim served as a “calm in the storm” to so many in the throes of conflict. He had a gift for connecting with people, regardless of their background, and worked every day to help bring peace to those in crisis. Jim served as a Senior Mediator with the Citizens Dispute Settlement Program at the Toledo Municipal Court, a past-President and Board Member of the Ohio Mediation Association, as well as a representative on the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution…Visitation will be Friday, December 11, 2020, from 4-6:00 pm at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave. (west of Corey Rd.) Strict COVID-19 precautions will be followed including mandatory mask wearing.  Read the full obituary or offer online condolences: Click here
Mail condolences: C/O Tammy Harris, 555 North Erie, Toledo, OH 43604. Steps are being taken to establish a Lacrosse scholarship in Jim’s name at the high school where he coached, or friends may make donations to the OMA in Jim’s name. OMA will post updates on donation details as they are announced.

OMA Events ~ November 2020 Renew Memberships

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*NOW* Membership Renewal for Jan-Dec 2021 Click Here to Renew
(Institutional Members may Request Invoice if needed by providing relevant information.)
Renew your OMA membership…NOW is the Time!
Mediator Technology Survey, info below Link email to members in OMA Events ~ November
Nov 19, 3rd Thurs 5:00 pm Happy Hour!- How are you? Join us for a chat!
From the Supreme Court of Ohio, 3-minute Mediator Survey: Over the last several months, Ohio courts have been responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing innovative technological strategies to safeguard against the unnecessary delay of the administration of justice. As courts continue to navigate these unprecedented times, the Supreme Court of Ohio established the Task Force on Improving Court Operations Using Remote Technology (iCOURT) to review courts’ use of technology to ensure the continued and effective operation of the judicial system and make recommendations regarding the use of technology in the future.
Specifically, the iCOURT Task Force was asked to survey justice system participants regarding their experiences and opinions with remote appearances and proceedings to help inform the task force’s recommendations. The input of the stakeholders in our justice system will be essential to the work of the task force. The deadline to respond is Monday November 23rd. Please contact<> if you have any questions. Link email to members in OMA Events ~ November.

OMA Events ~ October 2020 Renew Memberships

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*NOW* Membership Renewal for Jan-Dec 2021 Click Here to Renew
(Institutional Members may Request Invoice if needed by providing relevant information.)
Mark your calendars now!
Oct. 1, Thurs 5:00 pm OMA Book Group – Continued conversations about Race and Politics. Each of us has the skills to play a small but important role in this moment. If you would like to know how conversations and mediators can address these matters, OMA is hosting events around racial equity and civic unrest. List of books and schedule: (Zoom Link in your OMA Events Email)
  • Aug 4: Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding a Facilitative Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue
  • Sep 3: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibrahim W. Kendi & Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Oct 1: Dog Whistle Politics by Ian Haney Lopez
Oct 15, 3rd Thurs 5:00 pm Happy Hour- Celebrate Conflict Resolution Day!
Mark your calendars now!

OMA Book Group Discussion: Racial Equity and Civic Unrest, 08/06/20, 4:30 & Happy Hour, 5:30

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Thursday 08/06/20, 4:30 OMA Book Group Discussion About Racial Equity and Civic Unrest
Thursday 5:30 Happy Hour
For OMA Members:
Difficult conversations about race and politics are happening around us.
Each of us has the skills to play a small but important role in this moment.
If you would like to know how conversations and mediators can address these matters, OMA is hosting events around racial equity and civic unrest on Zoom. Invitation Links were emailed to members.
OMA Book Group: Racial Equity Series, Thursday, Aug. 6th, 4:30pm-5:30pm. Join us for our first discussion of books on racial equity, just before our August 6th Happy Hour. We are starting with “Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitative Difficult Dialogues on Race” by Derald Wing Sue. In the future, we could also discuss: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibrahim W. Kendi; So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo; Dog Whistle Politics by Ian Haney Lopez.
Coming Soon:
The Divided Community Project: Friday, Sept. 11th, 12:00pm-1:00pm. Join us for a presentation/Q&A by mediation powerhouse Nancy Rogers and Divided Community Project Co-Director Carl Smallwood. In 2015, the Moritz College of Law launched an effort to train community leaders to address civic unrest with conflict resolution skills. This effort proved prescient, given the nationwide protests following the homicide of George Floyd by white police officers.
Mark your calendars now!

Mediators Needed for Eviction Court COVID-19 Backlog Settlement Events—–Free Training 07/31/20 on Zoom

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Who Should Attend:

Individuals who are interested in learning how to mediate eviction cases in a municipal court setting, especially to assist with a backlog of cases related to the coronavirus pandemic.


Course Description

The Settlement Events – Eviction Mediation Training curriculum is a blended learning approach consisting of one online learning module (2.25 hours) followed by one half-day session (4 hours) of live interactive virtual classroom training for a total of 6.25 hours of training. Throughout this blended training curriculum, participants will be introduced to concepts that support the practice of mediation in eviction cases, including an overview of the eviction mediation framework, the eviction process, the impact of the CARES Act, the range of outcomes in eviction cases, and the applicable legal principles including the federal laws and regulations, state laws and regulations, local court rules, the Ohio Uniform Mediation Act and applicable mediation rules and standards.

This training satisfies the requirements under temporary Sup.R. 2.01 “Foreclosure and Settlement Event Mediation Training” of the Rules of Superintendence for the courts of Ohio, effective June 16, 2020, for all mediators who wish to receive settlement event and eviction mediation referrals from a municipal court in eviction cases or pre-eviction matters in Ohio.



Charlotte Parsons, Listen Mediation

James Petas, Sr. Mediator, Citizens Dispute Settlement Program, Toledo Municipal Court

(Are you an experienced Housing / Eviction Mediator willing to help coach the Role Plays during this training? Contact Kevin Lottes below.)


In order to attend this course, the following pre-requisites must be met:

  • After requesting to register for this training, you will be asked to list the counties in which you would be willing to mediate eviction cases; and
  • Answer questions regarding your mediation experience and background; and
  • Complete the online learning module available through OhioCourtEDU titled: Fundamentals of Mediation [ONLINE] which counts for 2.25 hours of the 6.25 hours of Settlement Events Mediation Training;

Course Description of Fundamentals of Mediation [ONLINE]: An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Mediation is an eLearning course designed to build a better understanding of mediation. Module one introduces fundamental concepts, ideas, core values, and definitions. Module two introduces participants to Ohio’s Uniform Mediation Act set forth in Revised Code Chapter 2710 and includes resources regarding regulations, rules, standards and ethics. 



This course is tuition-free. Materials are sent to participants via email in advance of the training dates.


CLE Credit

The online learning module has been approved for 2.25 hours of CLE credit.

Approval has been requested for 4 hours of CLE credit for the live training.



Friday, July 31 from 8:00 AM to 12:15 PM

This session will start at 8:00 AM and end by 12:15 PM

Login begins at 7:30 AM

This live interactive virtual classroom training is offered online. Login instructions will be provided to participants after completion of the pre-requisites and registration are confirmed.



This training will be offered in an online platform. Participants who register for this training through OhioCourtEDU will be notified of login instructions upon registration confirmation.

In order to ensure a quality and effective online platform training experience, certain requirements are needed:

  1. Computer with a camera and microphone
  2. Stable internet connection
  3. Quiet place to engage in mediation/interruption free-zone throughout the training
  4. Technology hiatus from your email, phone during the training
  5. Early log-on, at least 5 minutes before the start of the training


Registration Deadline

Course registration closes three days prior to the course, or when the course is full, whichever is sooner.

To register, go to: 

Questions or special accommodations

Please contact Kevin Lottes at

Dispute Resolution Website

A Message from Charlotte Parsons

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Dear Ohio Mediators,

We are not always as neutral as we think we are. What’s your agenda?
As a professional mediator, does your agenda include the survival and growth of your profession?
It should.

As mediators we understand neutrality, and we are successful in maintaining a neutral stance when we work with the disputants who come to us for help. We are trained to check our biases at the door. After all, we are professional mediators. But there is a bias, or self-interest, if you will, that I believe all mediators should practice: survival and growth of our profession.

The Ohio Mediation Association is uniquely capable of providing a structure to meet the needs of professional mediators, but that structure must be built and fortified by members and leadership. Without a dedicated organization to provide Ohio professional mediators a venue to grow their skills and a voice to educate the public, there is a threat the perceived value of mediation could shrink and fade away.

I am asking any and all professional mediators two things—please join me in rethinking how the OMA can 1) better serve the profession, and you, and 2) better educate the public.

You may be a court employee mediator, a part-time mediator who is also an attorney, therapist, other professional, or semi-retired grandparent. Or you may be like me, a self-employed full-time mediator with a private practice supplemented with a patchwork of court contracts and roster listings. We all have one thing in common as professionals, though. Despite our practice types or styles, we share a drive to provide excellent mediation to parties who seek self-determined resolutions of their disputes. This can only happen if our profession survives and grows.

It may be easy enough to work hard, provide services to those who ask and pay, to feel that we are doing enough “good” for the world while earning a living for ourselves. Hopefully most of us are meeting our personal needs through our mediation practice. I admit, all that makes me happy, as-is!

But is that enough? Are we also seeing the bigger picture? Are we doing enough to safeguard the future of our profession?

From a longer view, I think OMA members could do more: for the public, for the profession, and even for ourselves.

For most of us, it took years of study, hard work, and generous mentors to gain competence, confidence and financial comfort as professional mediators. To better see that longer view, consider how many people, children, families, businesses you alone have helped through mediation. Now consider how many Ohioans have benefited from our collective professional work. Ohio mediators have helped countless people!

It is crucial that we keep our skills sharp and open to modern thinking so we may continue to help people. We are fortunate that professional education opportunities are plentiful in our state, region and country. But do you feel like you have enough chance to process and communicate challenges or new knowledge with your colleagues from across the state? Would you find value in hearing case studies, lessons learned, and the trials and tribulations of mediators in other counties? Maybe it’s just me, but I would love that. OMA could be the perfect venue for such professional growth if we build a structure to accommodate that, and other topics which members may request. Please share your ideas!

Other than disputants who have directly benefitted from mediation, does the average Ohio citizen really know what professional mediation is? Do people understand that mediation can be an option before or after filing in court? Do they know that mediation can be used for limitless disputes, or as dispute prevention, not just for small claims, divorce, or world politics? The OMA could do more to educate and reach out to the public. Disputes happen; that’s a fact. But people will not seek mediation if they do not understand its benefits. Let’s show them! Please share your ideas!

As professional mediators, we owe it to ourselves to elevate how we mediate to the highest professional standards.
As professional mediators, we owe it to society to educate the public about how we help resolve disputes.
As professional mediators, we can accomplish these goals and more if we work together— that is my agenda for 2020.
What’s your agenda?

Please share your ideas!
Charlotte Parsons
Ohio Mediator

Charlotte Parsons is an Appointed Board Member of the Ohio Mediation Association