Mediator/Neutral Referral Program

After some Dividing the Waters Conveners helped mediate conflicts over water, the Conveners decided to try a pilot program for referring Program members as mediators or neutrals who can help resolve water conflicts.

Why Ask Dividing the Waters for a Referral?

Our Program can offer you mediators who have an understanding of water law and science, as well as the many ways that western water conflicts can be resolved. They have experience in resolving water conflicts, on the bench, in an administrative agency, or as a practicing lawyer. Consistent with the fundamental tenets of conflict mediation, however, selection of a mediator remains the responsibility of the interested parties. The Program does not offer any warranty or guarantee as to the success of the suggested mediator.

Why Did the Conveners Create a Neutral Referral Program?

Over the years, our conferences have included sessions on how judges can support efforts to resolve litigation through “alternative dispute resolution.” In 1999, the Program organized an ADR effort in the Klamath River Basin, which made some progress. When Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs retired, the Chief Justice appointed him as a mediator for the water courts. Dividing the Waters recently co-sponsored a one-day CLE symposium on ADR in water conflicts with the Colorado Bar. Recent discussions helped the Conveners recognize the value of their experience and the expertise of their colleagues in the Program in mediating water conflicts. They decided to try this neutral referral program for 6 months, starting November 1, 2016.

Where Do DTW Neutrals Have Experience?

This referral program starts with a set of sitting or retired judicial officers who have experience in mediation. They have experience in:

New Mexico

How Does the Program Work?

The first step is to contact the Program’s Executive Director, Steve Snyder. He will ask you some basic questions about the nature of the water conflict, and then offer you names of potential third-party neutrals from our Program. We are starting this Program with this personal engagement, in order to gauge public interest in Dividing the Waters members as neutrals.