What is mediation?  Mediation is an informal process whereby a neutral third party attempts to facilitate and negotiate a resolution to a dispute that is acceptable to all parties involved in the dispute.  Mediation is conducted by a trained mediator who acts as a referee or negotiator.  The mediator hopes that the settlement addresses the concerns, needs and ideals of both parties, and often attempts to find a middle ground both parties can live with. 

The resolution is typically memorialized in a written settlement agreement which is essentially an enforceable contract.  There will be no signed settlement agreement, however, if the parties aren’t willing to reach a compromise.  In mediation, the parties are free to walk away and are not required to reach any type of agreement.

A recent article in the Fort Collins Coloradoan highlight the benefits of the City’s free Community Mediation Program.  Among the benefits listed are:

  • The mediation is provided by the City of Fort Collins Neighborhood Services department
  • The service is free of charge to Fort Collins residents
  • The program is voluntary and confidentialMediation offers a forum for each party to share their perspective on the situation
  • The program may be effective in resolving neighbor-to-neighbor disputes in a less adversarial setting than a courtroom
  • The program is geared toward assisting the parties in working collaboratively toward a solution acceptable to all 

If you are having a dispute with your neighbor or if you would like more information regarding dispute resolution alternatives, please contact our Business Law Group partner, David A. Closson at [email protected].