“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
 

 

 

Supreme Court Declines to Revive Delaware Arbitration Program

US Supreme Court Seal

Lower Courts Held That Allowing Sitting Judges to Rule in Private Proceedings Was Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive a Delaware arbitration program in which sitting judges would handle corporate disputes confidentially.  Lower-court decisions held that the state-sponsored program was unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds because its arbitration proceedings weren't open to the public. In a brief order Monday, the high court without comment declined to review those decisions.  The Supreme Court's order was a blow to Delaware officials who saw the arbitration program, adopted in 2009, as a way to further the state's business-friendly reputation. Many companies have chosen to incorporate in Delaware because of its favorable corporate and legal climate. More ►

McArthur v. McArthur - Arbitration Clause in a Trust

Court House

Author Shahram Miri

Excerpts:
Arbitration is a common non-judicial method of resolving legal disputes.

Recently settlors, the people who author trusts, have begun to insert arbitration clauses in their trust agreements. The intent behind this, presumably, is to reduce the cost of litigation and to keep the matter private.

Following Ms. McArthur's death in 2011, Pamela sued Kristi for financial elder abuse and sought, inter alia, to have the 2011 trust invalidated. Kristi moved to compel arbitration, citing the clause in the 2011 trust. Pamela objected to this and the trial court agreed, finding that because Pamela was not a signatory to the agreement, she could not be compelled to arbitrate her claims against her sister. Kristi then appealed her decision to the 1st District Court of Appeal.

The appellate court agreed with the trial court's decision, finding that because Pamela had neither expressly or implicitly sought the benefits of the 2011 trust, she was not compelled to arbitrate.

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Third Circuit advises parties to use plain language when drafting arbitration agreements

Christopher A Reese

Author Christopher Reese

Excerpts:

The Third Circuit recently affirmed the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration in In re Nortel Networks, Inc.  In doing so, the Third Circuit advised parties wishing to arbitrate their disputes to make that intent clear by “reducing agreements to arbitrate to plain language that can be recognized and enforced by courts examining only the text of the agreement,” and to avoid “hid[ing] their intent to [arbitrate their disputes] in the shadows of the text.”

The most interesting part of the Third Circuit’s decision is its admonition that parties wishing to arbitrate disputes take care to “not hide their intent to do so in the shadows of the text.”  The Third Circuit noted that parties may agree to arbitration without using the word “arbitration” in their agreement, but also stated that “the absence of common signal words” makes it more difficult to determine that the parties intended to resolve their disputes in arbitration.  Parties wishing to arbitrate their disputes should heed the advice of the Third Circuit and ensure that their arbitration agreements indicate as clearly as possible their intent to resolve any disputes in arbitration.  Doing so will pull such intent out of the “shadows of the text” and significantly increase the likelihood that a motion to compel arbitration will be granted.

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Hyundai strips arbitration clause from warranty

Author Ryan Beene

LOS ANGELES -- Hyundai Motor America has dropped a policy requiring that some warranty coverage disputes between customers and the factory be settled through arbitration.

Until Friday, Hyundai included the clause in its new-vehicle warranty contract, which also gave customers the ability to opt out of the arbitration clause within 90 days of a new-vehicle purchase.

A report about the arbitration clause appeared in The New York Times on Friday. Shortly after the article was published, Hyundai issued a statement saying the policy would be dropped.

The arbitration policy, in place since 2006, began as way to protect Hyundai against frivolous lawsuits, Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said.

In a statement to the Times in response to its article, Trainor said Hyundai was dropping the policy “because we don’t want people to be misled and think we don’t stand behind America’s best warranty.”

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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.
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