Mediation & Restorative Justice

Mediation & Restorative Justice

Office of Dispute Resolution

The Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) was created as part of the 1991 Dispute Resolution Act which also created the six regional mediation centers.

The mission of the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution is to enhance and to advance the use of mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in courts and communities by partnering with ODR-approved mediation centers and others involved with ADR.  The Supreme Court appoints the members of the Dispute Resolution Advisory Council which serves to oversee the activities of the Office.

Mediation is available in all 93 counties of Nebraska and is a helpful problem solving process that empowers disputing parties to prioritize and express their wants and needs in order to arrive at a mutual agreement.  ODR partners with the six non-profit ODR-Approved Mediation Centers in Nebraska and the Douglas County District Court Conciliation and Mediation Office to serve Nebraska’s 93 counties. With the support of ODR and other state, local, and private funding the centers are able to provide a variety of services to the citizens of Nebraska.

Use the menu on the left to find out more about these different services.


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Information for the Public
Information for the Public

Mediation is a method of problem solving which enables individuals or groups in conflict the opportunity to seek a mutually agreeable resolution with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator. An individual may request mediation by contacting a mediation center or private mediator. Referrals may also be made by friends, courts, attorneys, social services, and others. Mediations can take place anywhere in the state and, when going through an ODR-approved mediation center, no one is denied services based upon an inability to pay. Some examples of disputes that can be mediated are:

There are many benefits to mediation, such as parties keep control over the outcome of their own problems and the process considers their feelings as well as facts with the assistance of an unbiased mediator. Also, mediation allows issues to be settled promptly with sessions scheduled as soon as all parties agree to come to the table. Furthermore, mediation is private, confidential and flexible. Attorneys, advocates, and others may participate in the sessions.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. An overview of services is also available.

Mediation and restorative justice were topics for the Your Nebraska Judicial Branch podcast. Click to listen to a brief overview of each. 

Podcast Episode 3 - Mediation

Podcast Episode 4 - Restorative Justice

Information for Judges and Court Staff
Information for Judges and Court Staff

Mediation will not solve all problems of the courts, but when appropriate and used effectively, mediation can have many benefits.  To name a few:

  • Mediation is private, non-coercive, and self-enforcing
  • Parties are satisfied with the ADR process
  • Mediation both resolves past issues and addresses future needs

Consider the use of meditation when a long-term relationship is involved (e.g., family members, landlord/tenant, parent/child/school, etc.), where parties have a desire to work through the problem and are able to safely communicate on some level.  In some cases, such as when it is important to set legal precedent or a need for public sanctioning of conduct, mediation may not be effective. 

Potential Case Types:

To become more familiar with the types of cases mediated and other services please contact an ODR-approved mediation center and/or a private mediator. 

When a judge refers a case to mediation by use of a court order, a copy of the order should be faxed or sent to the regional mediation center. The order should state whether the parties or the center are to make initial contact, and how the outcome of the mediation is to be reported back to the court. Courts should establish presumptive deadlines for the mediation process which may be extended by a showing of the parties that a continuation would assist resolution.

More detailed information may be found by reading the ADR Handbook: Mediation and Restorative Justice Practices For Judges and Court Staff.

Become a Nebraska Mediator
Become a Nebraska Mediator

Training in Nebraska for Mediators
The Nebraska Mediation Association (NMA) is a statewide network of mediators which develops, implements, and sustains quality conflict resolution, mediation, and consensus building. The NMA promotes mediation, and supports and provides training and educational opportunities for all mediators in the State of Nebraska. Through this member network, NMA provides links, resources, and enhanced opportunities among mediation professionals.
For further training information, visit NMA's website.
Private Mediation Practice
The Office of Dispute Resolution does not directly work with private mediators, with the exception of Parenting Act Mediators, but will respond to basic questions in the field. Persons involved in private practice of mediation should be familiar with state statutes and court rules regarding mediation, as well as relevant professional codes of ethics regarding the practice of mediation. Private mediators may also contact the Nebraska Mediation Association for more information.
Become an Affiliated Mediator
Have you taken training and are interested in mediating cases? Contact your local Nebraska ODR-approved mediation center to find out how to become an affiliate. Find contact information for the mediation centers on the ODR-Approved Centers and Douglas County District Court Conciliation and Mediation Services page.


Nicole Britten, Program Specialist

Kelly Riley, M.P.A., Director

Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution
Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation
Mailing Address: PO Box 98910, Lincoln NE 68509-8910
Office Address: 521 S 14th St., Suite 102, Lincoln NE 68508