About Common Ground Mediation Services

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Common Ground Mediation Services (CGMS) is a full-spectrum mediation agency, serving New Mexico since 1997. With an emphasis on family, divorce, business and workplace conflict resolution, CGMS strives to provide excellence, full service and satisfaction to individuals, groups and communities. CGMS has pioneered the wider application of mediation and alternative resolution in courts, school systems, government agencies and in tribal nations throughout New Mexico. We have a unique commitment to training and mentoring mediators, and launching new mediation programs wherever fertile soil can be found. As a result of a growing pool of mediation talent fostered by CGMS, our company can offer teams of mediators that will reflect the diversity of our clients, and thereby better meet their needs.

Mission Statement

The mission of Common Ground Mediation Services is to foster and nurture the widest possible use and application of conflict resolution resources. We see the principles of mediation and related collaborative processes as being capable of becoming an organizing principle for civil society. Honest, transparent and fair negotiations, conducted on the basis of equality, dignity and clear communication, can transform a host of inter-personal and community ills into a brighter future of understanding and cooperation. To accomplish this mission, CGMS provides mediation and facilitation services, teambuilding, training, and professional development to conflict resolution practitioners.

About the Founder

Debra Oliver, founder of CGMS, has been a mediator and trainer since 1989. She has mediated over one thousand cases in three states: New Mexico, Texas and Arizona, logging nearly seven thousand hours at the mediation table. She serves a variety of businesses, non-profits and state agencies, as well as a substantial family clientele, with an overall successful settlement ratio of 98%. Debra has mediated a wide array of cases for District Courts, including business, real estate, personal injury, workplace, community crises, land grant disputes, probate cases and divorce. Additionally, Debra has worked with a number of law enforcement agencies and municipalities, providing training and community dialogue services. Debra Oliver was a founding member of Tarrant County Association of Mediators (TCAM) and is a past board member of New Mexico Mediation Association (NMMA), where she initiated the "Resolution Day" project—a day of pro bono mediation serving New Mexico's First Judicial District Court. She chaired the New Mexico Mediation Association's Certification Committee for two years. Debra is also a partner in Community Dialogue Network, LLC, an organization that provides community-wide dialogues on public perspectives, especially in response to community crises.

Debra is also a Restorative Justice provider for New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.