These Colorado Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators are
intended for voluntary statewide use. The standards have been
endorsed by the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Judicial
Institute, the Colorado Department of Law, the Colorado
Council of Mediators, and the Office of Dispute Resolution of
the Colorado Judicial Department.
Representatives from each of these organizations worked as
a steering committee on this project for several years. The
proposed standards were circulated to various interested
groups and the sponsoring organizations for comments before
the final standards were endorsed.
While the Applicability Section of these standards
specifically addresses use by persons who hold themselves out
as mediators and usually charge a fee, any persons who hold
themselves out as mediators, regardless of whether a fee is
charged, are not precluded from and are encouraged to use
DEFINITION OF MEDIATION: Mediation is a process in
which an independent, impartial, trained, neutral third party
‑ a mediator ‑ facilitates the resolution of a dispute by
assisting the parties to reach voluntary agreement. A mediator
facilitates communication, promotes understanding, focuses the
parties on their interests, and assists them in developing
options to make informed decisions. A mediator does not have
authority to make decisions for or impose a settlement on the
APPLICABILITY: These Standards of Conduct are
applicable to those persons who hold themselves out as
mediators and who usually charge a fee for their mediation
I. Principle of Self Determination:
A. The mediator shall rely upon and encourage the ability
of the parties to reach a voluntary, informed agreement.
B. The mediator shall inform all parties that the process
is consensual in nature, that the mediator is an impartial
facilitator, and that the mediator shall not impose or force
any settlement on the parties.
C. The mediator shall not make substantive decisions for
A. The mediator shall advise all parties of any prior or
existing relationships or other circumstances giving the
appearance of or creating a possible bias, prejudice, or
B. The mediator shall conduct the mediation in an impartial
manner and should avoid conduct that gives the appearance of
C. If the mediator is unable to conduct the process in an
impartial manner, the mediator shall withdraw.
D. The mediator should not accept from nor give to a party
any gift, favor, loan, or any other item of value. This does
not preclude the mediator accepting reasonable fees for
A. The mediator should have training and education in the
mediation process, as well as familiarity with the subject
matter, including general principles of law, pertaining to any
area in which the mediator is willing to serve.
B. The mediator shall decline appointment, withdraw, or
request technical assistance when a case is beyond the
C. The mediator shall maintain professional competence in
A. The mediator shall preserve and maintain the
confidentiality of all mediation proceedings except where
required by law to disclose information.
B. The mediator should conduct the mediation so as to
provide the parties the greatest protection of confidentiality
afforded by law and mutually agreed to by the parties, subject
to and consistent with the Colorado Dispute Resolution Act.
C. The mediator shall advise and reach agreement with the
parties concerning the limits and bounds of confidentiality
and non-disclosure prior to the commencement of the mediation.
D. The mediator shall not disclose any communication made
in private session, unless the mediator has confirmed that
part or all of this communication may be shared with another
party or any other person.
E. If the mediation is confidential, the mediator shall not
permit observers or others to attend a mediation session
without first obtaining an agreement of confidentiality.
F. The mediator shall maintain confidentiality in the
storage and disposal of records and shall render anonymous all
identifying information when materials are used for research,
training, or statistical compilations.
G. The mediator shall take all appropriate action to
protect the confidentiality of the process from requests for
disclosure by any third party, including necessary legal
action to quash a subpoena issued to compel the mediator’s
testimony or matters discussed in mediation.
V. Quality of the Process:
A. The mediator should conduct the mediation fairly and
B. The mediator has an on-going duty to assess the case and
determine that it is appropriate and suitable for mediation.
C. The mediator should assist the parties in evaluating the
benefits, risks, and costs of mediation and alternative
methods of problem solving available to them.
D. The mediator should only accept cases in which relevant
deadlines can be met.
E. The parties and mediator should decide who will (and
will not) attend the mediation.
F. The mediator shall not unnecessarily or inappropriately
prolong a mediation session if it becomes apparent to the
mediator that the case is unsuitable for mediation or if one
or more parties is unwilling or unable to participate in the
mediation process in a meaningful manner.
G. If one of the parties is unable to participate in a
mediation process for psychological or physical reasons, the
mediator should postpone or cancel mediation until such time
as all parties are able and willing to resume.
H. If the parties insist on pursuing an agreement which the
mediator knows or should know is in violation of the law, and
has advised the parties of such, the mediator shall terminate
I. The mediator shall not intentionally or knowingly
misrepresent material facts or circumstances in the course of
VI. Truth in Advertising and Solicitation:
A. The mediator shall be truthful in advertising and
solicitation for mediation.
B. All advertising by a mediator shall honestly represent
the services to be rendered.
C. The mediator shall not make or imply promises or
guarantees of result.
VII. Compensation, Fees and Charges:
A. If a fee is charged, the mediator shall give a written
explanation of the fee structure, including related costs, and
manner of payment to the parties prior to the mediation.
B. The mediator shall maintain adequate records to support
charges for services and expenses, and provide copies to
parties upon request.
C. The mediator shall not enter into a fee agreement which
is contingent upon the result of the mediation or amount of
D. The mediator shall neither receive nor give commissions,
rebates, or similar forms of remuneration for referral of
clients for mediation except for fees to an independent
E. The mediator shall not use confidential information
obtained in a mediation for personal gain or advantage.
VIII. Dual Relationships:
A. The mediator shall not provide psychotherapy or legal
representation, to any party during the mediation process.
B. If the mediator has at any time provided psychotherapy,
legal representation, or other professional services in a
confidential relationship to any of the parties, the mediator
shall advise and fully disclose the nature of the prior
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