Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators™ was founded in 2005 by Judy West (formerly Judy Larkins) and a small group of dedicated advisors. Those who contributed significant efforts include James B. Eichberg (University of Denver Arbitration Professor) and attorney Andrew Friedman, a former investigator with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). The company utilizes the acronym COMA.
Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators LLC incorporated in 2011 as USADR Inc, a Colorado Corporation, and conducts business under the registered tradename 'Colorado Mediators & Arbitrators'.
The company was formed to offer low cost, high quality Alternative Dispute Resolution Services also known as ADR Services, to include mediation, arbitration, and med-arbitration for divorce, small business, and real estate matters. Judy West is a primary provider of services, along with other panel members who are utilized for their subject matter expertise. COMA's mediators and arbitrators posses the practical knowledge that only comes with time in a profession. As industry experts in these types of disputes, we are adept at delivering alternative dispute resolution for matters related to family, small business and real estate mediation; producing high quality mediated agreements and fair decisions when deciding arbitrated matters.
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Mediation is the preferred form of resolving disputes for optimal results and cost-containment. Mediation gives participants control over the outcome. A high percentage of parties who mediate come to voluntary agreement.
Mediation is a formal negotiation of the disputed matters and does not have a guaranteed conclusion. However, when parties come to agreement, the terms and conditions of their agreement are written in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, which is signed by the parties. The MOU can then be submitted to the court for enforcement.
Using the court system to solve problems is often overkill in small business disputes. The length of time necessary to get to hearing is often prohibitive, and lack of speedy court decisions often serves to erode the benefit of having a decision rendered. The legal process is punctuated by formality and is often confusing to non-attorneys. A business or layperson’s understanding of the Rules of Evidence often prohibits submitting evidence in litigation unless it is done in a narrow, specific way. Legal formality fosters the need to hire an attorney, which adds to the cost of resolving the dispute, and the dispute itself is usually costly. It is not uncommon for litigation to take years! Additionally, the element of fairness may not be addressed by a judge because judges are bound by both the written law and an extensive body of case law, created over the years by a myriad of past cases that may or may not seemingly apply to your business case.
Mediation offers a confidential negotiation facilitated by an industry expert, who generates options for settlement. Confidentiality is perceived as a tremendous benefit, protecting the reputations of those involved in the dispute. This is in stark contrast to courts of law, where decisions are published and referred to for years to come. Mediators must disclose any known conflict of interest and acknowledge that s/he has no known bias and can be fair in dealing with the parties and the subject matter in dispute prior to accepting appointment to a mediation case. When agreement is reached, our mediators assist the parties by writing the terms and conditions of the agreement in laymen's terms into a document referred to as a 'Memorandum of Understanding' or 'MOU'. This document, when signed and notarized, may be submitted to the court for final orders and is then binding upong the parties.
Arbitration offers a full and fair hearing of the testimony and evidence, provided by the parties, to a private judge who renders a decision. An emphasis in arbitration is fairness and fair process. The law that the participants present is taken into consideration, but weighed along with common sense, fairness, and equity. Therefore, the strict interpretation of the law does not always apply, but other standards are considered. This is a tremendous benefit and saves a great deal of time in hearing, and therefore provides cost-savings.
You don’t need a court system to solve your dispute. You need us.