Under Oath Member Spotlight, 0721 COBJ, Vol. 50, No. 7 Pg. 104

AuthorHolly Panetta
PositionVol. 50, 7 [Page 104]

50 Colo.Law. 104


No. Vol. 50, No. 7 [Page 104]

Colorado Lawyer

July, 2021

Holly Panetta

Holly Panetta is a mediator, child and family investigator, parenting coordinator, and educator with experience working in higher education, government, and court administration.




Law School:

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Lives in:


Works at:

Peak Empowerment LLC; Colorado State University (Adjunct Faculty)

Practice Area(s):

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation

CBA Member Since:


Describe yourself in five words:

Curious, measured, independent, steady, and compassionate.

Why did you become a lawyer?

I was working for an independent Booksellers Association during the late 1990s when our organization became tangentially involved in a lawsuit to block a big-name bookstore from purchasing a major book distributing company. I was fascinated by the process and the collective persuasion of the independent book stores and bookseller associations, which ultimately stopped the sale from going through. I applied to law school with the intention of working in book-publishing law. Twenty years later, I have enjoyed a rich and diverse career in alternative dispute resolution, working with individuals, families, and businesses (not books!).

What's the best advice you've received?

Don't make assumptions; ask questions.

What do you like most about your practice area?

One of the most rewarding parts of my work is getting to witness those magical moments when people truly experience a transformation from viewing conflict as a stress or to recognizing it as an opportunity to create new beginnings or improved relationships. As a mediator, my role is to provide a calm and safe environment where parties are empowered and encouraged to create this magic.

What organizations are you involved in?

I've been affiliated with the Colorado Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) since 2005.1 served as an ODR project manager and director from 2010 to 2016, and I've also served as a contract mediator for the organization for more than 10 years. I'm currently a member of the CBA ADR Section's executive council.

If you weren't a lawyer, you'd be?

I'd likely still be working somewhere in the book publishing industry! Alternatively, I may have explored using my MS degree in human development and family studies to become a...

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