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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

Eastern District of Texas

Judge Ron Clark, Chief Judge
David A. O'Toole, Clerk of Court

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  • What is the basic difference between the various forms of ADR?

    In mediation, the mediator does not give an opinion or make a decision regarding the merits of the dispute. In the other ADR processes, the impartial third party or early neutral evaluator does give an opinion or make a decision.

  • Why is mediation more widely-used than the other forms of ADR?

    Because in mediation the mediator works directly with the parties to determine their needs, desires, fears and concerns and to help them reach an agreement that, hopefully, will address these interests.

  • How does the mediator resolve a dispute?

    By giving the parties the opportunity to tell their stories, to vent their anger, frustration and emotions, and by helping the parties analyze their case, communicate with each other, create options and structure a settlement that will meet their needs. The mediator does this without judging the actions or motives of the parties.

  • What are the advantages of mediation?

    If the dispute does not settle, then the parties have spent the time and cost of the mediation without any immediate results. However, even when a dispute does not settle during the mediation, sufficient progress is often made to enable the dispute to be resolved much easier and quicker at a later time.

  • When should mediation be considered?
    • When you want to minimize your costs.
    • When you want to settle the dispute promptly.
    • When a court trial cannot provide the remedy you want.
    • When you want to end the dispute but not the relationship.
    • When your dispute is private and you want it to stay that way.
  • How quickly can a mediation be scheduled?

    Depending upon the mediator's schedule, from a few hours to a few weeks.

  • How long are the mediation sessions?

    Most disputes are resolved in one day or less. Occasionally, a mediation will last more than one day. This usually occurs when the case is complicated, and there are a number of issues and parties involved.

  • What are the disadvantages of mediation?

    If the dispute does not settle, then the parties have spent the time and cost of the mediation without any immediate results. However, even when a dispute does not settle during the mediation, sufficient progress is often made to enable the dispute to be resolved much easier and quicker at a later time.

  • If I go to mediation or to another ADR process, am I required to settle?

    No.

  • If the case does not settle at mediation or during another ADR process, can I still go to trial?

    Yes. You do not give up your right to a trial if the case does not settle.