The Mediation Process

Mediation is a cost-effective method to bring together opposing parties to assist in the negotiation of a settlement. Your mediator will be an impartial facilitator of open communication between the parties in order to promote a mutual agreement. The mediator acts as neutral advocate for resolution of the dispute by:  

  • helping to define the issues;  
  • removing obstacles to communication;  
  • exploring alternatives and providing suggestions; and  
  • facilitating the negotiators' reaching an agreement  

The Texas ADR Statute

The Texas ADR statute is the foundation for mediation in the State of Texas.
To view the Texas ADR Statute, click here.

Preparation for Mediation

The specific rules for mediation may vary depending  upon the court in which the case is pending. Please consult with the  clerk or court coordinator for a copy of the rules that apply for your  particular case. The Rules of Mediation followed by many Dallas courts  are listed below. 

In order to make your mediation session as productive  as possible, it is helpful for your mediator to have information  regarding the case prior to your mediation. Specifically, please submit  the following prior to your scheduled mediation:  

  1. A list of parties who will attend
  2. A brief summary of the facts of the case
  3. A summary of your position in the case
  4. A brief description of prior settlement discussions
  5. A status of discovery and trial preparation
  6. Other relevant information that may influence the negotiations

Rules for Mediation

  1. Definition of Mediation. Mediation is a process under which an impartial person,  the mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote  reconciliation, settlement or understanding between them. The mediator  may suggest ways of resolving the dispute, but may not impose his own  judgment on the issues for that of the parties.
  2. Agreement of Parties. Whenever the parties have agreed to mediation they shall  be deemed to have made these rules, as amended and in effect as of the  date of the submission of the dispute, a part of their agreement to  mediate.
  3. Consent to Mediator. The parties consent to the appointment of the individual  named as mediator in their case. The Mediator shall act as an advocate  for resolution and shall use his best efforts to assist the parties in  reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
  4. Conditions Precedent to Serving As Mediator. The Mediator will only serve in cases in which the  parties are represented by attorneys. The Mediator shall not serve as a  mediator in any dispute in which he has any financial or personal  interest in the result of the mediation. Prior to accepting an  appointment, the Mediator shall disclose any circumstance likely to  create a presumption of bias or prevent a prompt meeting with the  parties. In the event that the party disagrees as to whether the  Mediator shall serve, the Mediator shall not serve.
  5. Authority of Mediator. The Mediator does not have the authority to decide any  issue for the party , but will attempt to facilitate the voluntary  resolution of the dispute by the parties. The Mediator is authorized to  conduct joint and separate meetings with the parties and to offer  suggestions to assist the parties achieve settlement. If necessary, the  Mediator may also obtain expert advice concerning technical aspects of  the dispute, provided that the parties agree and assume the expenses of  obtaining such advice. Arrangements for obtaining such advice shall be  made by the Mediator or the parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
  6. Commitment to Participate in Good Faith.  While no one is asked to commit to settle their case in  advance of mediation, all parties commit to participate in the  proceedings in good faith with the intention to settle, if at all  possible.
  7. Parties Responsible For Negotiating Their Own Settlement.  The parties understand that the Mediator will not and  cannot impose a settlement in their case and agree that they are  responsible for negotiating a settlement acceptable to them. The  Mediator, as an advocate for settlement, will use every effort to  facilitate the negotiations of the parties. The Mediator does not  warrant or represent that settlement will result from the mediation  process.
  8. Authority of Representatives.  PARTY REPRESENTATIVES MUST HAVE AUTHORITY TO SETTLE AND  ALL PERSONS NECESSARY TO THE DECISION TO SETTLE SHALL BE PRESENT. The  names and addresses of such persons shall be communicated in writing to  all parties and to the Mediator.
  9. Time and Place of Mediation.  The Mediator shall fix the time of each mediation  session. The mediation shall be held at the office of the Mediator, or  at any other convenient location agreeable to the Mediator and the  parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
  10. Identification of Matters in Dispute. Prior to the first scheduled mediation session, each  party shall provide the Mediator and all attorneys of record with an  Information Sheet and Request For Mediation on the form provided by the  Mediator setting forth its position with regard to the issues that need  to be resolved. At or before the first session, the parties will be  expected to produce all information reasonably required for the Mediator  to understand the issues presented. The Mediator may require any party  to supplement such information.
  11. Privacy.  Mediation sessions are private. The parties and  their representatives may attend mediation sessions. Other persons may  attend only with the permission of the parties and with the consent of  the Mediator.
  12. Confidentiality. Confidential information disclosed to a Mediator by the  parties or by witnesses in the course of mediation shall not be  divulged by the Mediator. All records, reports, or other documents  received by a mediator while serving in that capacity shall be  confidential. The Mediator shall not be compelled to divulge such  records or to testify in regard to the mediation in any adversary  proceeding or judicial forum. Any party that violates this agreement  shall pay all fees and expenses of the Mediator and other parties,  including reasonable attorneys’ fees, incurred in opposing the efforts  to compel testimony or records from the Mediator. The parties shall  maintain the confidentiality of the mediation and shall not rely on, or  introduce as evidence in any arbitral, judicial, or other proceeding: a)  views expressed or suggestions made by another party with respect to a  possible settlement of the dispute; b) admissions made by another party  in the course of the mediation proceedings; c) proposals made or views  expressed by the mediator; or d) the fact that another party had or had  not indicated willingness to accept a proposal for settlement made by  the Mediator.
  13. No Stenographic Record.  There shall be no stenographic record of the mediation  process and no person shall tape record any portion of the mediation  session.
  14. No Service of Process at or near the site of the Mediation Session.   No subpoenas, summons, complaints, citations,  writs or other process may be served upon any person at or near the site  of any mediation session upon any person entering, attending or leaving  the session.
  15. Termination of Mediation.  The mediation shall be terminated: a) by the  execution of a settlement agreement by the parties; b) by declaration of  the Mediator to the effect that further efforts at mediation are no  longer worthwhile; or c) after the completion of one full mediation  session, by a written declaration of a party or parties to the effect  that the mediation proceedings are terminated.
  16. Exclusion of Liability.  The Mediator is not a necessary or proper party  in judicial proceedings relating to the mediation. Neither Mediator nor  any law firm employing Mediator shall be liable to any party for any  act or omission in connection with any mediation conducted under these  rules.
  17. Interpretation and Application of Rules.  The Mediator shall interpret and apply these rules.
  18. Fees and Expenses.  The Mediator’s daily fee shall be agreed upon  prior to mediation and shall be paid in advance of each mediation day.  The expenses of witnesses for either side shall be paid by the party  producing such witnesses. All other expenses of the mediation, including  fees and expenses of the Mediator, and the expenses of any witness and  the cost of any proof or expert advice produced at the direct request of  the Mediator, shall be borne equally by the parties unless they agree  otherwise.

Mediation Standards

Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators 

  1. Self-determination: A mediator shall recognize that mediation is based on the principle of self-determination by the parties.  
  2. Impartiality: A mediator shall conduct the mediation in an impartial manner.    
  3. Conflicts of Interest: A mediator shall disclose all actual and potential  conflicts of interest reasonably known to the mediator. After  disclosure, the mediator shall decline to mediate unless all parties  choose to retain the mediator. The need to protect against conflicts of  interest also governs conduct that occurs during and after the  mediation.    
  4. Competence: A mediator shall mediate only when the mediator has  the necessary qualifications to satisfy the reasonable expectations of  the parties.    
  5. Confidentiality: A mediator shall maintain the reasonable expectations of the parties with regard to confidentiality.    
  6. Quality of the Process: A mediator shall conduct the mediation fairly,  diligently, and in a manner consistent with the principle of  self-determination by the parties.    
  7. Advertising and Solicitation: A mediator shall be truthful in advertising and solicitation for mediation.    
  8. Fees: A mediator shall fully disclose and explain the basis of compensation, fees, and charges to the parties.    
  9. Obligations to the Mediation Process: Mediators have a duty to improve the practice of  mediation.  These standards were completed in 1995 by a joint committee of the  American Arbitration Association, the American Bar Association, and the  Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (now The Association for  Conflict Resolution.)