“The existing judicial system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people...  To rely on the adversarial process as the principal means of resolving conflicting claims is a mistake that must be corrected."  The Late Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger

Established, Exceptional Service. 
Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators™ provides Alternative Dispute Resolution services that
balance time, money, and quality.

 

Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators™ | COMA was founded in 2005 to resolve disputes while balancing quality, cost, and efficiency.  We are committed to fairness and fair process in both Mediation (negotiated settlement) & Arbitration (a private judge renders a decision.) COMA mediates business, real estate, and divorce matters with excellence. Our 3-tiered arbitration program offers a targeted approach that removes prohibitive arbitration costs by tying the amount of claim to the type of hearing, and that provides for expediency and efficiency.

Mediation:  A confidential negotiation of the disputed matters.  Mediation allows maximum control with minimal cost utilizing a professional negotiator who assists disputing parties to find mutually satisfactory solutions to their differences.  Approximately 95% of all cases filed in court are resolved prior to trial.  When agreement is reached, a Memorandum of Understanding is executed and enforceable in court.  We make every effort to schedule mediation quickly, within 30 days of the filing of the Mediation Submission Agreement. 

File for Mediation
Mediation Fee Agreement
File for Earnest Money Mediation
Mediation Fee Agreement
 

Med-Arbitration:  Med-Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution that combines the self-determination of mediation with the finality of arbitration.  In the initial stage of a Med-Arbitration proceeding, the parties attempt to reach a voluntary settlement through negotiation that is facilitated by a single, neutral Med-Arbitrator.  If settlement is not reached, the parties are given a full and fair hearing by the same Med-Arbitrator.  After considering the evidence and testimony presented, the Med-Arbitrator shall render a simple written decision which is binding on the parties.

  File for Med-Arbitration - Joint Agreement Required     
  Med-Arbitration Fee Agreement
  Med-Arbitration Rules of Procedure

Arbitration:  A confidential binding decision by a private judge.  Arbitration provides speedy resolution to disputed matters.  Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators™ offers a 3-Tiered Arbitration Program that makes financial sense evaluating costs and benefits.  We make every effort to conclude Documentary and Teleconference Hearings within 60 days of the initial filing.

Adobe .pdf Form Document Arbitration Hearing for Claims Under $15,000
Adobe .pdf Form Teleconference Arbitration Hearing for Claims Under $75,000
Adobe .pdf Form Standard Arbitration Hearing for Claims of $75,000 & Over
Arbitration Fee Agreement
 

 

 

Unconscionable Employment Arbitration Agreement Held Unenforceable

Author Brad Reid, Senior Scholar, Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity, Lipscomb University

Excerpt:

Provisions in employment applications that require mandatory and binding arbitration of all disputes are commonplace and are generally enforced as written by courts. Additionally, the Federal Arbitration Act frequently preempts (overrides) contradictory state arbitration statutes. Consequently, the recent federal Ninth Circuit decision in Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Company, applying California's procedural unconscionability rules to an employment arbitration agreement, is noteworthy.

"Unconscionable" is an ancient common law exception to freedom of contract. Courts may refuse to enforce a harshly one sided, grossly unfair contract that "shocks the conscience," hence is deemed by the court to be unconscionable. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a District Court's decision that refused to enforce the employment arbitration agreement in question on the basis of unconscionability. The Ninth Circuit upheld the decision that the Federal Arbitration Act preemption standards did not apply because California's unconscionability rules apply equally to all contracts and do not disproportionally impact arbitration agreements.

What did the Court find objectionable? The Court was concerned that the agreement was presented on a "take it or leave it basis" as a condition of employment. The exact provisions were not made available to the employee until three weeks after the employee agreed to be bound by them. The arbitrator selection process would always produce an arbitrator proposed by the employer. Institutional arbitration administrators, including the American Arbitration Association or the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service with established rules to select a neutral arbitrator, were excluded. The arbitrator-fee-apportionment provisions would, in the view of the Court, place "prohibitive costs" on the employee. Furthermore, the arbitration policy could be unilaterally modified by the employer at any time without notice to the employee. The Court rejected the employer's argument that the employment application language, "please sign and date," meant that the employee did not have to agree to arbitration.
Read Full Article►

Unconscionable Employment Arbitration Agreement Held Unenforceable

Author Brad Reid, Senior Scholar, Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity, Lipscomb University

Excerpt:

Provisions in employment applications that require mandatory and binding arbitration of all disputes are commonplace and are generally enforced as written by courts. Additionally, the Federal Arbitration Act frequently preempts (overrides) contradictory state arbitration statutes. Consequently, the recent federal Ninth Circuit decision in Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Company, applying California's procedural unconscionability rules to an employment arbitration agreement, is noteworthy.

"Unconscionable" is an ancient common law exception to freedom of contract. Courts may refuse to enforce a harshly one sided, grossly unfair contract that "shocks the conscience," hence is deemed by the court to be unconscionable. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a District Court's decision that refused to enforce the employment arbitration agreement in question on the basis of unconscionability. The Ninth Circuit upheld the decision that the Federal Arbitration Act preemption standards did not apply because California's unconscionability rules apply equally to all contracts and do not disproportionally impact arbitration agreements.

What did the Court find objectionable? The Court was concerned that the agreement was presented on a "take it or leave it basis" as a condition of employment. The exact provisions were not made available to the employee until three weeks after the employee agreed to be bound by them. The arbitrator selection process would always produce an arbitrator proposed by the employer. Institutional arbitration administrators, including the American Arbitration Association or the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service with established rules to select a neutral arbitrator, were excluded. The arbitrator-fee-apportionment provisions would, in the view of the Court, place "prohibitive costs" on the employee. Furthermore, the arbitration policy could be unilaterally modified by the employer at any time without notice to the employee. The Court rejected the employer's argument that the employment application language, "please sign and date," meant that the employee did not have to agree to arbitration.
Read Full Article►

An Appeal to Equity

Four Theses:  Preliminary to an Appeal to Equity

Darien Shanske, Author

[Draft – Final Version Published 57 Stanford Law Review 2053 (2005)]

“Equity is justice in that it goes beyond the written law. And it is equitable to prefer arbitration to the law court, for the arbitrator keeps equity in view, whereas the judge looks only to the law, and the reason why arbitrators were appointed was that equity might prevail.”

Enforcing Arbitration Awards

CONFIRMING ARBITRATION AWARDS: TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF A SUMMARY PROCEEDING

Authors Susan Wiens and Roger Haydock.  This Article updates an earlier article: Daniel D. Derner & Roger S. Haydock, Confirming an Arbitration Award, 23 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 879 (1997).

Mediation Preparation

Prepare for Mediation

Mediation is an extremely effective method of resolving disputes.  There are several things that enhance the possibility of success.

1.  Preparation: Bring anything that may be helpful to refer to when negotiating your settlement.  Sometimes research is also helpful.  If you find a resource in a book or online, bring copies with you to refer to when making your point.  Accurate information is powerful only when presented at the right time. 

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