The California Academy of Mediation Professionals (“CAMP”) is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to providing quality mediation services as an effective and efficient alternative to formal court proceedings for the resolution of disputes. CAMP was established in May of 1995 by Jeffrey Krivis and received substantial grant funding under the Los Angeles County Dispute Resolution Program Act. The Director of CAMP is Wendy Wright.
Civil Mediation Program
CAMP maintains a panel of trained mediators for mediating court appointed cases mandated under California Code Civil Procedure Section 1775. CAMP mediates both limited and general jurisdiction cases for this program.
The Civil Mediation Program at CAMP is designed to provide parties involved in court litigation with an efficient, confidential, and effective process for resolving their dispute. By reaching their own agreement through mediation, the program allows parties to save substantial time and money and avoid the difficulties and uncertainty of a trial. Parties receive the first three hours of mediation free of charge.
The panel of CAMP mediators who volunteer their time for this program are all well trained and experienced mediators. The panel is varied consisting of attorneys, doctors, psychiatrists, and other professionals who hold in common the belief that mediation is an effective alternative to resolving disputes.
Superior Court and Small Claims Mediation Program
CAMP mediators are on-site at the Malibu, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and Lancaster Courts to provide parties an opportunity to mediate their case at the courthouse, rather than going to trial. In the Superior Court, the cases are assigned by the court clerk to mediation and a CAMP mediator will hold several mediation sessions per day for the court. In small claims court, CAMP mediators address the parties assembled in the courtroom and inform them of the potential benefits to mediating their case. They then invite them to mediate in a room provided by the court. While the vast majority of cases that go to mediation end in agreement, the parties do not lose their right to have their case heard by a judge if mediation is unsuccessful.
Small Claims Convening Program
CAMP mediators also give parties an opportunity to avoid court entirely by mediating their case before their scheduled court date. CAMP mediators initiate this by contacting parties who have filed small claims cases with the court and informing them of the option of mediation. CAMP mediators typically hold these mediations at a neutral location such as CAMP’s office in Encino or at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution on the Pepperdine University campus. CAMP mediators convene cases filed with the Malibu/Calabasas, Santa Monica, Van Nuys, and Beverly Hills Small Claims Courts.
Both the small claims on-site and convening programs offer an opportunity for students receiving a mediation certificate or master’s degree in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution to serve as mediators.
Sliding Scale Fee Program
CAMP also provides mediation services to private parties who are unaffiliated with CAMP’s court mediation programs. Any person involved in a dispute, whether it is in the litigation process or not, may use Camp’s mediation services. CAMP charges a nominal hourly fee for these cases which is typically split between both parties. The mediation fees are set by a sliding scale which takes into account the parties income level.
Mediation Training Program
In addition to providing mediation services, CAMP has taken a leading role in the training and mentoring of future mediation professionals and attorneys interested in the field of dispute resolution. In the past, CAMP has contracted with the Los Angeles Superior Court to provide mediation and mentoring training. CAMP has teamed with trainers from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution to present several high quality 42 hour mediation trainings. CAMP also presents a mediation training in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service, Bar Associations and various other organizations. Many participants in Camp’s training become members of Camp’s mediation panel and are given numerous opportunities to practice the skills they have learned. CAMP also offers various other trainings in Alternative Dispute Resolution including conflict management, convening, cross-cultural awareness, and many other topics.
Student Externship Program
CAMP has developed a program in which students working toward a law degree or a certificate or master’s degree in dispute resolution at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School can receive school credit while obtaining mediation experience in one of Camp’s mediation programs. Both the small claims programs provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience in all phases of mediation as well as learn to work with various court personnel. Externship students are also given the opportunity to observe superior court mediations and possibly co-mediate or mediate these cases once they have gained sufficient experience and training.
Cooperation With Other ADR Organizations.
CAMP is committed to working closely with other dispute resolution providers in order to better serve the community. Currently CAMP has partnered with the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) located in Pasadena in order to provide qualified mediators for the small claims courts throughout Los Angeles County. CAMP also works closely with the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles Central District – Arbitration Administration Office.
Jeffrey Krivis, Executive Director
Wendy Wright, Director
After 22 years of mediating on an informal basis in her capacity as a university administrator, Wendy Wright decided to get formal training from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law and become a full-time mediator. While at Pepperdine, Wright became the Clinic Manager for the Dispute Resolution Clinic. For two years, Wright provided mentoring to 2nd and 3rd year law and masters degree students who were mediating small claims and civil harassment disputes for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Wright has also provided mediation training to Ventura Center for Dispute Services (VCDS); and USC Law School Dispute Resolution Clinic in the area of small claims mediation; as well as for cases in the Civil Harassment Mediation Program.
As a board member of the Southern California Mediation Association, Wright produces the annual Legal-Ease for Mediators Program each Winter. Wright has also produced a Family Mediation Program at the Skirball Cultural Institute (November 2007). In addition to a mediation practice, Wright is also an organizational consultant and have provided consulting to Los Angeles County Department of Nursing; the City of Fullerton; and the American Lung Association.
To email Wendy, please send mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charla Strong administers cases for Jeffrey Krivis and Mariam Zadeh, and supports clients’ needs and expectations for each mediation. Additionally Charla manages and trains the mediator panel for the non-profit California Academy of Mediation Professionals (CAMP). In that capacity, she manages the court annexed mediations of the seventeen Los Angeles Superior Court courtrooms in the areas of Unlawful Detainer, Civil Harassment, and other civil related matters.
As an alumna of University of Chicago, Charla serves on the University of Chicago Alumni Schools Committee interviewing prospective undergraduate students and representing University of Chicago at local college events.
Prior to becoming a dispute resolution professional, Charla was a general commercial litigator in Chicago, Illinois. While in law school, Charla served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Marjorie C. Laws of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division.
Charla received her A.B. from the University of Chicago in 2003 and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 2008. She is a member of the State Bar of Illinois.