History of the LACBA Civic Mediation Project

The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) is pleased to announce that the Center for Civic Mediation is now the LACBA Civic Mediation Project (CMP).  CMP has its roots in the National Conference on Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice (Roscoe Pound Conference). The Conference was convened by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1976 to discuss the perceived inadequacy of the courts to address the nature and number of cases on court dockets. 

The Conference resulted in a recommended alternative to adversarial and costly litigation – the establishment of community-based centers that offer mediation services and train community volunteers to serve as mediators. The timing of the recommendation dovetailed with the national movement to empower neighborhoods and develop local, community-based leadership. 

The Civic Mediation Project, founded as the Neighborhood Justice Center, was established in 1978 as a project of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA). The Neighborhood Justice Center was one of three community mediation centers in a DOJ national pilot, and the only one that was not under the auspices of a court. In 1987, the Neighborhood Justice Center separately incorporated as Dispute Resolution Services (DRS), a §501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of LACBA.

DRS added school-based peer mediation programs to its repertoire of community services in 1987, pioneering these programs in Los Angeles County and establishing the organization as a national model and leader in the fields of both community and youth mediation services. In 2010, DRS was renamed the Center for Civic Mediation in recognition of the vital role mediation plays in community and personal relations.

Today, the Civic Mediation Project remains committed to its foundational goals by offering expert mediation and facilitation services, and conflict resolution training and education to individuals, families, schools and organizations. CMP continues to empower individuals and neighborhoods to find peaceful ways to address and resolve conflict.