Chief Justice Appoints Director of Office of Dispute Resolution

by Tony Flesor

Chief Justice Nancy Rice appointed Sharon Sturges as director of the Office of Dispute Resolution. Sturges replaces Holly Panetta, who resigned in 2016.

The ODR was created by enactment of the Colorado Dispute Resolution Act in 1983. Since then, the ODR has made quality dispute resolution services available to litigants in order to resolve cases in a prompt, self-determined and cost-efficient manner.

Sturges has served as the program coordinator for the ODR since 2015. Prior to joining the State Court Administrator’s Office, Sturges engaged in a private litigation and mediation practice on the Western Slope for more than 15 years. Before that, she served as the SB94 director for the 21st Judicial District, a wraparound services coordinator and promoting safe and stable families administrator for Hilltop Community Resources, Inc. Sturges served as the executive director for a community mediation center in Anchorage, Alaska, prior to moving to Colorado in 1998. Sturges received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law, and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Sturges received an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, a law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and a master’s from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Sturges’ appointment was effective April 1.