Michelle Sylvain
Michelle Sylvain

Associate Mediator

Associate MediatorThis mediator has at least 40 hours of mediation training, has mediated at least 10 cases for at least 40 hours, agrees to take part in at least 12 hours per year of continuing mediation education, and subscribes to Mediate.com's required standards of mediation practice..Premium Member

Michelle Sylvain

Michelle Sylvain of ADR Solutions is really great at guiding parties beyond impasse, helping them engage in productive conversations that preserve critical connections. She leads people through challenging relationship changes – in private mediations, and as a contract ODR mediator for the Colorado Judicial Department.  Whether parties are at the beginning of a personal or business relationship, or on the verge of dissolving certain ties, Michelle helps them successfully transform disagreement into win-win solutions. She uses impactful tools in her mediation sessions to supports folks navigating conflict, without power struggles or explosive disputes.  She is especially effective in mediating change where preserving the relationship matters.

Growing up in Denver, Colorado, Michelle earned business and law degrees from the University of Denver. She was editor of several publications at McGraw Hill, and held leadership positions in several Colorado non-profit organizations. She published award-winning commentary regarding disputes and political action in Denver’s minority communities. After graduating from law school Michelle obtained impactful recoveries for her clients as lead counsel in one- and two-week jury trials for private firms and at the Office of the Attorney General. She spent 20 years as a litigator and court staffer.

During these two decades,  Michelle created a Self Help Center for people appearing in court without attorneys and volunteered as a mediator for court-annexed conflict resolution programs. She became expert in alternative conflict resolution processes.  In addition to experience as a confident courtroom professional, as part of the bar and in support of the District Court bench, Michelle has another ten years of experience in persuasive writing, complex research, factual analysis, and alternative dispute resolution, including early neutral evaluation, mediation, and arbitration. In 2018 Michelle embraced mediation and other alternative dispute resolution services (ADR) to best help people effectively disagree and move on. She now offers ADR services for all types of contract and family law disputes and for all types of individuals and business owners.

If you are looking for a trained conflict coach who thrives in dynamic environments, call Michelle. She can help you move the needle in hard conversations.

ADR Experience

Michelle Sylvain of ADR Solutions, an arbitration and mediation firm, guides people beyond impasse, helping parties engage in productive conversations and preserve critical connections. For ten years she supported District Court judges and served as an effective neutral in court annexed -negotiation processes. For the last two years she has led people through challenging relationship transformations – taking them from where they are to win-win solutions, as an ODR Contract Mediator for the Colorado Judicial Department. Her expertise is deep and longstanding.

A Colorado native,  Michelle earned her MBA/J.D. at Denver University School of Law (now Sturm School of Law) and her B.S. at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she majored in communications and journalism. After graduating from DU Law School in 1984, she developed a broad background in civil litigation, mediating part time for a decade. During her early career, Michelle obtained impactful recoveries for her clients and was lead counsel in one-week to two-week jury trials.

In 2018, after 20 years of successful litigation, part time mediation and court negotiations, Michelle embraced arbitration and mediation full time. She was trained in Boulder Colorado by CDR-Boulder as a mediator and through Newfield-Boulder as a conflict coach. Now Michelle helps clients successfully navigate conflict and overcome useless power struggles. She remains passionate about facilitating respectful conversations where people can be heard.  She now offers mediation and other alternative conflict resolution services for all types of contract and family law disputes for individuals and organizations.

Through her expertise as a former journalist, attorney-mediator and conflict coach, Michelle gained the ideal skillset to effectively guide her parties through conflict and toward agreements that they can live with, without explosive upset.

Her diverse experiences also make her expert at creating living documents memorializing your intention and mutual agreements. If you are already engaged in the legal process, Michelle can help you get your personalized solutions formalized by the court, rather than dictated and imposed by a judge.

For more information see Michelle Sylvain’s profile at:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/msylvain/


Michelle Sylvain  is an effective, client-focused attorney-mediator, who also arbitrates employment and contract disputes. What sets her apart is that she is as well versed in trial litigation as she is knowledgeable in facilitative and evaluative problem-solving processes. As an attorney mediator Michelle does everything possible to spare clients the pain of protracted and costly litigation. She believes in enhancing communication between all parties and focuses on cooperation rather than building conflict. This is a much healthier approach for everyone involved. Her process does not involve providing legal advice. Instead, she helps you identify and discuss issues and to explore options and proposals for settlement. She also teaches diverse resiliency skills within the community. Recent sessions include:

  • 2021 – Co Presenter, ADR Conference, “Engendering Diversity in the ADR Community,” (Oct. 28, 2021)
  • 2019 – Co-Presenter, Labor and Employment Law Conference, “Smart Hacks to Increase Personal Resiliency” (Oct. 3, 2019)
  • 2018 – Presenter at October Conflict Resolution Month for Summit Conflict Resolution Alliance, “Taking Care: Using Neuroscience and Compassion to Nourish Professional Resiliency,” (Oct. 29, 2018)
  • 2017- Presenter, Colorado Court Children & Families Conference, “Preparing for High Conflict Clients,” (April 23, 2017)
  • 2015 – Colorado Courts Judicial Conference, Self-Care as Professionalism,” (May 27, 2015)


Michelle earned her MBA/J.D. at Denver University School of Law (now Sturm School of Law) and her B.S. at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she majored in communications and journalism.

Michelle was been trained in Boulder Colorado by CDR-Boulder as a mediator, and through Newfield-Boulder as a conflict coach. For more information see her profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/msylvain/

Michelle combines her expertise as a former journalist, attorney-mediator and conflict coach to bring the ideal skillset for guiding clients through conflict and toward agreements that they can live with.

Areas Of Practice

  • Civil (general)
  • Contracts
  • Divorce (parenting)
  • Family
  • HOA
  • Landlord - Tenant
  • Online Family/Divorce
  • Online Mediation
  • Real Estate
  • Small Claims

Additional Services

  • Communication Skills Trainer
  • Conflict Coach
  • Facilitator
  • Mediation Consultant
  • Mediator-Arbitrator
  • Online Arbitrator



Fees and Provisos

2 hour mediations (that fulfil requirements of court ordered mediations) $150 per hour.

Half day mediations (4 hours) begin at $250 per hour.

Fees for full day mediation (6.5 – 7 hours) vary;  provide details of your situation for a personalized estimate. Contact us at: adrsolutions.mtn@gmail.com

Mediations are conducted online unless arrangements are made for in-person mediation at your site. There is a travel fee associated with in-person mediation.


Liability Insurance

  • Yes

ADR Training

  • CDR Boulder - initial 40 hour training
  • Colorado Bar Association - 140 recent hours of training


  • • ANBAR Award for Outstanding Contributions to Business
  • • CERI Institute Fellowship
  • • Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Community Outreach and Public Relations Award
  • • Far Northeast Neighbors, Community Leader of the Year Award
  • • International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women •
  • • Most Prolific Business Ethics Writing Award
  • • Who’s Who Among African Americans

Professional Associations

  • ADR Section of the Colorado Bar Association - Chair Emeritus
  • Colorado Women's Bar Association - Board of Directors, Former Chair of Southwestern Colorado ChapterCommittee
  • Colorado Bar Association - Board of Governors
  • Women's Foundation of Colorado - Grantmaking Committee

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