DENVER – The Colorado Judicial Branch’s Office of Dispute Resolution announced this month that courts in southwestern Colorado will have additional trained, experienced mediators providing mediation services, with the appointments of Durango attorney Angela Buchanan and Ridgway attorney Irwin Borof of Ridgway to the ODR.
Buchanan will work as ODR-appointed mediator with courts in the Sixth (Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties) and Twenty-Second (Dolores and Montezuma counties) judicial districts, and Borof as ODR mediator in the Seventh Judicial District (Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties), both as part-time independent contractors for court-ordered mediation, their fees paid by parties to the case, or, when the parties cannot afford the cost of mediation, by federal and/or state funds. Licensed attorneys, Buchanan and Borof were hired at the request of their districts’ courts, and join current ODR mediators in the sixth and seventh judicial districts Peter Bogardus, of Crested Butte; Barbara Hughson of Durango; and Patricia Winslow of Olathe.
They will work on domestic relations and civil cases and other case types deemed appropriate by district court judges, mediating three to five cases per month through the ODR.
In Colorado, 64 percent of domestic relations cases are resolved in mediation, an alternative dispute resolution process that can help reduce court caseloads by resolving cases outside the courtroom.
“It’s not the conflict that’s the problem,” said Winslow, the southwest regional program administrator for the ODR, but “rather how it’s handled. Mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes provide a mechanism for our courts and communities to resolve conflicts in a constructive way, and ODR ensures it’s done in a professional, affordable and efficient manner.”
ODR applicants are required to have at least 40 hours of mediation training, considerable experience mediating disputes; substantive knowledge of Colorado law in the area in which they will be mediating and familiarity with court procedures in civil and/or domestic relations cases.