Mediation in Texas involves a neutral person (called a “mediator”) who guides both disputing parties through the communication process while also promoting a compromise, settlement, or understanding. Mediators aren’t allowed to express their views or make decisions about the issue being discussed. Their main job is to help both parties come up with an agreement. They’re also not allowed to tell the other party what you have discussed with them unless you permit them to do so.
This process is different than arbitration, which is where each party and their attorneys present their case to a neutral person (who is called the “arbitrator”). This person will then make a decision about the case based on his or her judgment about the facts being presented. A mediator won’t make a decision, but he or she can help both parties reach an agreement on their own.
Types of Cases That Can be Mediated
Most civil cases can be mediated. Some of them can include the following:
- Family law cases.
- Cases between a tenant and a landlord.
- Probate cases.
- Consumer protection cases.
If it’s possible for both parties to come up with some type of reconciliation, the courts will encourage them to go through the mediation process before filing a lawsuit. It’s a much less formal setting than the court system. It can also save both time and money. In most cases, mediation can provide a legally enforceable outcome if it’s agreed upon by both parties. So in that sense, it’s similar to going to court.
How to Prepare for the Mediation Process
Before going into Texas mediation, you will need to prepare for the session. You can get advice from someone you trust (such as a lawyer) about what you want to accomplish, as well as on what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. You also want to bring any relevant materials that you need to show the mediator, so he or she can help you communicate with the other party about what you want.
You want to follow all the requirements that have been set by the courts. But within ten days of getting notice of an order for mediation, you can file a written objection to the mediation requirement. If the court has determined that there are reasonable grounds for your objection, you won’t be required to attend the mediation session.
Mediation in Texas can be helpful if both parties have equal power. They must be able to say what they want without feeling afraid or pressured, but threats and control are common in relationships where one person is abusive. If the abuser is used to being in charge and making all the decisions, there’s a good chance that mediation won’t work. It can also be a problem in divorce or custody cases where the other parent has abused you and you don’t have a lawyer. You are legally allowed to object to mediation in these circumstances.
The Role of an Attorney in the Mediation Process
You’re not required to have a lawyer for mediation in Texas, but it would be in your best interests to hire one to “play the game” on your behalf so you can get the best possible result. When you’re thinking about mediation, picture a chess game. The main objective is to make all the right moves to get the best possible outcome, and lawyers can play many valuable roles throughout the process.
Attorneys won’t speak for their clients in the way they would in a courtroom. They are there to offer guidance and information while also setting a tone that will work toward your benefit. Their job is to support their clients while making sure they understand the risks, benefits, and circumstances of each step in the negotiation process. Attorneys can also help clients manage any opportunities for breaks and private meetings with the mediator while also creating an at-ease environment for their clients.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to hire an attorney for the Texas mediation process, but doing so will only benefit you in the long run. Having an attorney to help you with the mediation process will give you access to a support system, an advocate, and someone who understands “the game.” So if you want to maximize your chances of resolving your case on the best possible terms, it’s important to get an attorney.
If you’re looking for a qualified attorney to help you with your mediation in Texas, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.