Robyn E. McDonald, Esq. is an avid fly fisher, mediator and arbitrator in private practice with McDonald Mediation Group, LLC; she is a licensed attorney in California and in-house counsel in Colorado. She mediates extensively in Colorado and offers ADR services throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. She is the President and a Professional Member of the Mediation Association of Colorado, Chair of the First Judicial District Access to Justice Committee and Director of the First Judicial District Access to Justice Mediation Program Pilot Project. She is a Founding Member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, a member of the Modest Means Attorney List Super Committee, established by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice, and a member of the Jefferson County Mediation Services Advisory Committee.
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The Critical Role of Mediation in Bridging the Access to Justice Gap
For more than a decade, Colorado has worked to provide access to justice (ATJ) for its indigent and modest means citizenry. Despite efforts by the bar and the courts, the state continues to struggle in its pursuit. What has been so often overlooked, however, is how mediation provides the courts and litigants an affordable, efficient option to resolving many disputes.
Fly Fishing and the Art of Mediation
Fly fishing is an intelligent, exciting, though exasperating sport. It juxtaposes patience and haste, agility and strength, skill and luck– all in the name of reeling in the big one. Mediation is much the same: by using the same passion and painfully learned lessons as do fly fishers, skilled mediators assess conflict, see through the riffles to common interests, maintain the appropriate stance for encouraging dialogue, and know when to reel in the agreement.
Gender Balanced Co-Mediation in Family-Centered Conflict
Situations involving multiple parties, experiences, and perspectives require skilled mediators who bring with them a finely tuned equilibrium, presence, and insight. A gender balanced, co-mediation team brings all three qualities to the resolution of family-centered conflict.
The Influence of Cultural Diversity in Mediating Complex Multi-Party and Catastrophic Loss Conflict
To Americans, “cultural diversity” means experiences derived from the differences in race, religion, gender, age, ethnicity and more recently, sexual orientation. Yet, this definition is a bit myopic; consider the implications of: immigration status, socio-economic and marital status, work experiences (blue collar/white collar, unemployed/underemployed), education, group memberships (NRA, ADL, Sierra Club, John Birch Society, Greenpeace, ACLU, Tea Party Movement), political affiliations, parenthood, disabled or disadvantaged or other significant life experiences - as they too, impact the concept of cultural diversity.