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].