What Is Mediation?


Mediation can be thought of as assisted negotiation.  A negotiation is a process of communication by which two or more parties attempt to reach an agreement.  When parties take part in mediation, they use a neutral third party (the mediator) to help them try to reach an agreement.  The mediator does not represent either party or his or her interests. Mediation can be contrasted with litigation and arbitration, where the judge or arbitrator makes a decision for the parties.  Mediation is also not marriage counseling and is not intended to try to save the marriage.  The following is a list of some of the primary traits of mediation.


Self Determined. Just like any other negotiation, no party to a mediation can be forced to agree to anything.  The mediator is not a judge and cannot make any decisions regarding your case.  Instead, the mediator will help the parties to explore possible options and try to reach their own agreement. Because the parties feel like they are more in control of their destinies when they mediate, studies suggest that people are generally happier with the agreements they have reached as opposed to rulings issued by the Court.

Confidential. The mediator has a legal obligation to keep communications made during mediation confidential.  Additionally, communications made during mediation are legally privileged, meaning that they cannot be used as evidence in court.  There are some limited exceptions that are defined by statute. 

Impartial. The mediator has an obligation to be impartial and to reveal any conflicts of interest the mediator may have.  A mediator will try to ensure that the parties stay focused on attempting to reach a common goal and avoid their temptation to place blame and point fingers. 

Controlled. Every mediator is different in the way he or she will structure and handle a mediation.   For example, some mediators regularly caucus (meet separately) with each party, while others never do so.  However, no matter the process used, the mediator will try to ensure a safe environment where the parties can appropriately voice their concerns and opinions and positively work towards solutions.

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Ms Kirk was my attorney in a very high conflict and emotional divorce case. She and her staff gave nothing but outstanding, honest legal advice and were in my opinion among the highest standard of professional representation. She had the best interested of my children and our future in her view at all times and I am absolutely grateful for her professionalism, the time that she invested in ensuring that my case was well thought out and defended and the compassion she showed for my family during one of the most difficult times of my life. I highly recommend her for anyone that is considering such a difficult decision.

~ Nicole Smith

Sylvia has been my acting attorney representing my ugly divorce since 2007. She is very honest and up front with everything she does. Throughout this divorce she has won many issues on my behalf; as well as, two other separate issues we had to go to court on because of this ugly divorce! Sylvia won them too! :-) If your looking for a hard working, honest, and very up front attorney; Sylvia will roll up her sleeves for you, and her hard working staff will get the job done for you!

~ Gary S Robison

Sylvia was the 3rd attorney I interviewed to help me navigate though a sticky divorce, and I knew within the first 5 minutes of that interview that she was the one who could do the best job while looking out for my best interests. She is a no-nonsense, straight shooter who is honest, factual and a wealth of knowledge. Along with her paralegal Andrea, they are both prompt with relaying information and communication. Because of my exception experience with Sylvia, I have recommended her to others who were let down by their current legal team. She does not disappoint!

~ Tiff J.
Littleton, CO