Mediation Process (Texas Style)

In Texas, mediation is “caucus-style” with participants in separate rooms and all communication relayed by the mediator. Most counties require mediation prior to trial.

  • Involves indirect negotiation between the parties facilitated by a mediator but usually parties are in different rooms and mediator shuttles back-and-forth
  • Involves parties exchanging information relevant to the issues through a formal discovery process governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Works best if lawyers are reasonable and parties have an open-mind regarding settlement options
  • Works best when parties want to control the outcome of the dispute
  • Does not work as well if one or both parties attend mediation only to meet the court’s rule that parties must attempt mediation prior to going to trial
  • Mediators do not make decisions for the parties
  • Parties usually have lawyers
  • Parties usually employ other experts to provide information and advice, and those experts become advocates for their clients’ respective positions
  • Parties usually have staked out trial positions and have sent settlement proposals back and forth
  • Lawyers and the mediator draft settlement document at mediation
  • Lawyers offer advice, advocacy and draft settlement document and appropriate closing documents
  • Generally, less expensive than going to trial or arbitration and more expensive than parties reaching an agreement pursuant to another method.