To the Weld County Bar Association Members!
Over 10 years ago Judge Strobel created an amazing Small Claims Mediation program for Weld County. Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, Weld County Courts holds the Small Claims docket where parties mediate before going to trial. We have skilled mediators and lawyers participate in trying to help parties reach fair and appropriate agreements. Our success rate over the years has been well over 80% of the parties resolving their cases without having a trial. When the program was created, there was a great deal of help from the members of our Weld County Bar, and an anticipation it would continue.
As with many voluntary groups, sometimes a few people carry a heavy load for the programs. This certainly can make things easier for the short term but is not sustainable for the long term. It is with this letter that I am asking members of the Weld County Bar Association to possibly look at your calendars and see if you could spare a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon a few times a year to help with the mediation program.
Typically for new mediators, we will have you trail one of our experienced mediators to get a feeling of the process, and let you take a case when you feel ready to do it alone. This is not only a great opportunity to get your name out in the community but also helps show the public that being an attorney can be helpful and respectable. I cannot tell you the number of people who were scoffing at the prospect of mediating with an attorney who were then able to reach fair agreements and walk out with a much larger respect for our profession.
I believe there are many attorneys who want to make a difference but are unable to spend a great deal of time away from their practice. The Small Claims Mediation program lets you set your times- and only dedicate an afternoon at a time. For people who are looking to become mediators- this is a perfect opportunity to get hours towards your membership in a professional mediation group. Other attorneys want to try something new and different. For whatever the motivation, this program makes a difference for the people of Weld County, and for our profession.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my clerk, Melinda Meier. I appreciate your time in reviewing my request.
Mark C. Gonzales
District Court Magistrate
19th Judicial Weld County