McDonald Mediation Group, LLC

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, Facilitation, Arbitration

We provide 30 years of legal, judicial, and mediation experience with a proactive focus to conflict resolution. We offer a cost efficient alternative to tumultuous, prolonged litigation, creating an atmosphere that encourages safe, honest and positive communication of ideas and emotions. Our clients are varied: "pro se" (unrepresented by counsel), represented by counsel, or simply individuals or companies in need of informal dispute resolution. They come from both sides of the litigation fence: plaintiff, defense/insurance representatives. We mediate all types of matters: Domestic Disputes, (pre and post divorce decree), Collections and Contract Disputes, Employment/Workplace Conflict, Landlord Tenant/HOA Matters, Personal Injury and Product Liability Matters. We accommodate our clientele wherever possible: we mediate in our offices (located statewide); we provide telephone mediations for those unable to travel, or for those who live out of state. If the circumstances allow, and all parties agree, we are happy to mediate at a client’s offices to accommodate the particular logistics. We have mediated matters from Hawaii to Florida, and in many states in between. Robyn is a former California Judge Pro Tem, defense litigator, appellate attorney and former national in-house counsel to a major Japanese insurance company. She was a member of an appellate team addressing the Right to Refuse Medical Treatment. Licensed to practice law in California since 1987, and practicing in Colorado (single client, limited admission) since 2007, she has been consistently recognized as a top lawyer (Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Attorney since 1992, Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, 2011), and as a top mediator (Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent® Client Rated since 2009)*. She has authored several articles dealing with a variety of mediation issues, been a radio guest speaker for conflict resolution, trained/coached for several basic and advanced mediation courses, and has written a regular column on conflict resolution for the She is a member of the Jefferson County Access to Justice Committee, the Jefferson County Mediation Services Advisory Committee, and a member of the Jefferson County Mediation Services Program. She is the Vice President/President - elect, and a Professional Member of theMAC (The Mediation Association of Colorado), and a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. She was recently admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. (* AV® Preeminent ™ is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Rated Lawyer of Preeminent 5 out of 5 as of 28 May 2009. [Date of latest review published on and]

Mission: "Charting the Course" - Providing forward looking, proactive dispute resolution services, we assist parties in conflict to resolve their issues without painful, protracted and expensive litigation costs.

How To Dad

$250K Settles Bikini Wax Case After Mediation A woman who said she was injured and left permanently scarred during a bikini wax procedure at an Atlanta hair salon has settled her claims for $250,000 foll...

Judge orders 'brainwashed' kids to live in juvenile facility for refusing to interact with their dad

It is impossible to believe that there are parents out there who hate the other so much that they would destroy their own children to spite that spouse - but trust me, it happens. A Michigan lawyer has filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of three children placed in a juvenile facility by a judge who claimed they had been brainwashed in

Never, EVER, underestimate the power of an honest, heartfelt apology...Even if it's long overdue.

Kudos to both these brave individuals who were strong enough to give and receive an apology for such ugly behavior. Well done.

This is a story about how it’s never too late to apologize.

ChadMichael Morrisette recently got a message on Facebook.
It was a message totally out of the blue.
It was a message he never expected to get.

More on that in a moment.
But first you need to understand the back story.

20 years ago ChadMichael was bullied when he was in grade school in Alaska.

He says:
"I was bullied for being gay.
I was bullied for being little.
I was bullied for every reason someone is bullied.
It was awful.
I couldn't even walk to classes without an adult escort or friends with me."

One of the people who bullied ChadMichael was Louie Amundson.
And the other day, 20 years later, Amundson sent ChadMichael a note.
It stopped ChadMichael in his tracks.

Here's what the note said:
"I was recently talking with my 10 year old daughter about bullies.
She asked me if I ever bullied anyone and sadly I had to say “yes”.

What came to mind is how sh---y and mean I was to you when we were in Jr. High.
I want to apologize.

If we lived in the same state I would apologize to your face.
I don’t even know if you remember, but I do and I am sorry."
Louie Amundson

ChadMichael said he was deeply touched by the apology.
And the next day he wrote back to Louie.

He said:
"I’m quite moved by this.
Thank you and accept your apology.
In 20 years you are the only person to apologize for being a bully to me when we were younger.
I hope you can proudly tell your daughter that you have also apologized for it, and that we are good.
It’s amazing what 20 years and children can do to us, no?
Thank you again, and I hope you stand up to bullying anytime you see it.
Have a great day!"

How cool is that.

Louie Amundson was later interviewed and told Yahoo Parenting that he was humbled, ashamed, and relieved all at once.

He said:
“I owed him that apology, he did not owe me his forgiveness.
The fact that he was able to forgive me showed that I may have been the bigger kid, but he is the bigger man.

I hope it shows that people can change, that life can change.
(And) I think people can learn a lot from the way Chad handled this.
He forgave me.
To me, that says so much about his character."

It sure does.

But apologizing also says a lot about Louie’s character.
I think a lot of people could learn from BOTH of them.

Quotes courtesy of Queerty and Yahoo Parenting.

And one last note.
I've started a new segment on the KTVU YouTube page called
"Let's be Frank."
It's me talking about things that I hope people will find interesting and thought provoking.
The subject this week is how my world changed, because of what happened in Berkeley when I was in the 5th grade.

Here's the link:

Never stop believing you can get through anything.

For those who volunteer for something about which they are passionate, you are an inspiration to those who want to do more, and a blessing to those who receive your gift of effort. Thank you for all you do.

SaddleUp! is having a new volunteer orientation on Saturday March 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. We hope you will join us. Don't forget to share this on your own timeline. The more the merrier.


Don't you wish we could all collaborate this way?

Eso es compañerismo

TCL - Attorney–Mediators Need to Check for Conflicts - March 2015 - Whoops—Legal Malpractice...

For many attorneys who have recently decided to expand their practice to mediation - remember, you remain an attorney and are bound by those rules as well. This is a good read for those thinking it's a fast, easy transition to "just do mediation."

It's tougher than you think.

40 Things to Give up for Lent: The List

Pick one - It certainly will beat giving up chocolate! Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent are just around the corner. As this season of Lent approaches, many of us think about something to “give up.” Unfortunately, these things often h...

Always listen to your heart.

Give it a try.

Thousands Gather at Vigil for Three Slain in Chapel Hill

A very sad example of how condo complex parking space disputes can escalate into a fatal result. Could mediation have helped this situation? Maybe - Certainly as to parking issues; as to the alleged conflict between religions? It might have opened a dialogue at the very least. Thoughts and prayers to the family of these victims of rage. More than 2,000 people attended a vigil at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Wednesday to mourn a dentistry student, his wife, and her 19-ye...

The Business of Mediation

Amen. Mediation is important and a critical tool in anyone's chest. It's worthy of a fee. Those who want free mediation have less skin in the game, less respect for the process and are not as invested in resolving the conflict. Many mediators are drawn to this field because they have a calling to help. This article reminds us that the work we do is valuable. It is important to see mediation as a legitimate business--and then the public will begin reflecting that view.

And isn't this a better mindset with which to start 2015?


Timeline Photos

Teen missing four years found alive, hidden behind wall near Atlanta

With all my heart, I hope that divorcing parents can find a way to positively transition from spouses to responsible, respectful co-parents. To hide a child from a parent simply to punish the other spouse, can hurt the child in unimaginable ways. A 13-year-old boy who had been reported missing four years ago was discovered alive, hidden behind a fake wall of a home near Atlanta, Georgia, and reunited with his mother early on Saturday, police said.

3 Best-Ever Discipline Tactics that Parents of Teenagers Need to Know - Lifetree Family

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How To Listen So That Men Will Keep Talking -

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Federal mediator: Tentative deal reached in Atlanta Symphony labor dispute | Atlanta Arts and...

That's music to my ears. [caption id="attachment_1144" align="aligncenter" width="218"] Allison Beck, acting director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, began mediating the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra labor dispute on Oct. 7.[/caption] The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which restarted stall…

The Art of the Workplace Apology - ABA Law Practice Today

Recently, I had two cases where an apology meant everything. For an apology to work for Party A: 1) it must be sincere 2) Party B must be ready to actually provide a sincere apology, but most importantly; 3) Party A must be truly ready to RECEIVE the apology. A premature "oh, Sorry" can actually do more harm than good. Molly DiBianca breaks down the fine art of the workplace apology.

Now Comes The Jamie Casino Parody Videos

Now, I have the highest regard for the highest Court in the land, and I have been honored to be admitted to that Bar in court, en banc - but I have to say - this is hysterical! The sign of a truly great artist is not the work of art itself, it's inspiring others... to make their own parodies.

New NBC Competition Series for Divorced Parents

I don't know whether to fall down laughing or start crying. As if divorced parents don't have enough on their plate.

[10/15/14]   For anyone looking for my website...due to circumstances beyond my control, Go Daddy has experienced some glitches and as we all know - glitches flow downhill. I hope my site will be up and running soon!!

Suspended lawyer blames leisure lifestyle for misstatements, acknowledges snarky emails

Really? Is this the legal version of "affluenza" ? A New Jersey lawyer has been suspended for three months for “sarcastic and sophomoric” comments to opposing counsel and misstatements to a judge. The New Jersey Supreme Court suspended lawyer Jared

Colorado Judicial Branch - Self Help - Information

This is such valuable information and time well spent. Thinking about representing yourself? Get informed, so you can make informed decisions.

McDonald Mediation Group, LLC

Lawyer's suspension includes lifetime ban on representing women - ABA Journal

Ugh. This kind of thing gives lawyers a very black eye, and it is the last thing a victim of domestic violence needs. A Connecticut lawyer has been suspended for four months and barred from representing female clients for the rest of his career after he was accused of representing women in family law and domestic-violence cases in violation of a 2010 court order. The disciplinary counsel had initially sought disbar…

Divorce Cakes

Okay. Those who know me, know I encourage couples to think of divorce as a transition into a new, positive phase of life - as co-parents or just as individuals. Some obviously take this concept to a whole new level. (Warning, some cakes are more explicit than others.) Did you know these existed? Before Pinterest, I didn't! Which one do you like best?

Latest legal victory has LegalZoom poised for growth - ABA Journal

There is an enormous concern over the Unauthorized Practice of Law, especially for those who practice mediation. What's the problem? People of low or modest income don't want to spend what money they have on lawyers with other agendas. Parties want and need affordable methods to resolve their disputes; Legal Zoom helps them achieve that on the front end - Mediation helps them the rest of the way. Chas Rampenthal, LegalZoom's general counsel, has helped the firm prevail against lawsuits brought by several states. Photo by Anne Tritt.

6th Circuit says man can't sue judge who had affair with his wife during child-support case -...

As if divorce isn't hard enough.... A Michigan judge who admittedly had an affair with the wife of a man in a child-support case before his court won't have to face a federal civil rights case, a U.S. appeals court has ruled. Calling the conduct of now-former Wayne Circuit Judge Wade McCree

Change afoot in American civil justice system - ABA Journal

Sigh..... once again, there is never a thought that mediation may actually assist the civil justice system in resolving cases that could be resolved efficiently, effectively and without unreasonable legal expenses. Sounds more like tripping over two left feet than change afoot. My husband is a cattle and sheep rancher, and during the 36 years of our marriage, I have learned a few things—for example, in the spring, livestock can overgraze on sweet new grass to the point of killing themselves. It is called foundering. Due process in the American civil justice system is like…

23 Promises Every Girl Should Make To Herself And Keep Forever

I'm thinking I have the last two covered pretty well - How about you? Encourage your daughter to think about all these promises. You promise to be a force to be reckoned with -- because you are a force to be reckoned with.

28 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Colorado

Personally, #28 is my personal favorite, and my second favorite reason for moving here is #26. What's your "need to know" for moving to Colorado? Give me a mile high-five!

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. If We Could All Just Do #5.

What do you need to give up, in order to be truly happy? Everyone needs to read this!

First Colorado revenge porn case in court

Unmanaged conflict can escalate to a point of no return (legally or otherwise). Could mediation have helped? If not, then it's nice to know there is a legal process to curb someone who believes this is the only way to react to a breakup. First Colorado revenge porn case in courtRaquel Villanueva, KUSA3:12 p.m. MDT July 11, 2014 DENVER - A man accused of posting intimate photos of his former girlfriend online was in court

Florida vet says 'Bring it on,' as he faces eviction over flower pot flag

HOA disputes like this can embarrass an entire community, cost thousands of dollars and in the end, this most likely resulted from an emotionally based conflict that could have been resolved by early mediation. Some day, HOA's will learn. A Florida veteran who is facing foreclosure for insisting on displaying a small American flag in a flower pot on his front stoop is telling his homeowner's association to bring it on.

Why fishing is making a comeback in Colorado

My favorite sport in the world. Fishing's popularity is on the rise in Colorado, and considering its broad appeal, it's easy to understand why.

Utah lawyer asks to broadcast divorce court proceedings, but the answer appears to be no - ABA...

Boy, if there were ever a reason to start mediating your very personal matters, especially a divorce - this would be it. Can you imagine your high conflict divorce and all the allegations on YouTube for your friends, boss and family to see? Mediation - it's confidential, and it's not on YouTube or the Bravo Channel. A Salt Lake City lawyer hopes to broadcast divorce court proceedings on his YouTube channel, but he has had little luck persuading judges to agree. Lawyer Eric Johnson came up with the idea after Utah opened its courts to electronic media coverage last year, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The state…

Apparently, you can curse your boss out and still keep your job - The Employer Handbook Blog

Wait - what if you're self-employed? What with me gabbing on about firefighters afraid of fighting fires, butt grabs, and some Delaware lawyer starving himself over social media, I missed this National Labor Relations Board decision, in which the Board basically held that, as long as... Published By Eric B. Meyer

How to Start a Business With a Friend -- and Actually Remain Friends

Some good information in these entrepreneurial times. Running a business with a friend doesn't have to be a headache ... or a relationship-ender.

Halle Berry Ordered to Pay $16,000 a Month in Child Support

Boy, I sure hope they mediated this case - the legal fees alone were probably astronomical. Halle Berry is going to need the paycheck she's getting from her upcoming TV series Extant. The Oscar-winning actress has been ordered by a Los Angeles court to pay $16,000 a month in child support to her former beau Gabriel Aubry...

Condo owners say HOA refuses to address flooding issues

I'm thinking this is a perfect situation where mediation could help resolve an issue before it just gets further out of hand. The first problem? Having a conflict that has escalated to the point of having to call a news station for resolution. A condo complex parking lot and carport flooded, and condo owners say the HOA refuses to do anything about it.

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