Alternative Dispute Resolution

When facing a civil matter, it might feel as if going to court is the only way to resolve that issue. Thankfully, the state of Texas does provide its residents options other than trial. By using alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR), parties can resolve a civil dispute without the time or expense of trial.

In the state of Texas, the Texas Dispute Resolution Procedures Act allows parties with a pending dispute to resolve the matter through the intervention of a an impartial third party. This is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR can be a valuable resource for parties facing a certain conflict who don’t wish to go to trial. Nevertheless, ADR is not always the best option for dispute resolution. In choosing between the traditional courtroom context and ADR, it is best to seek the advice of a skilled dispute attorney in Texas.

Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorneys in Brownsville

If you need assistance during the mediation process, arbitration process, or negotiation process, reach out The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . We will review your situation and determine which alternative dispute resolution method is best for your situation. To gain a deeper understanding of whether a dispute should be resolved in a traditional courtroom setting, or through mediation, negotiation, or arbitration, speak with an alternative dispute resolution attorney at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. .

We represent families in Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Willacy County. Attorney Jonathan Gracia and his team has offices in the Brownsville, TX area, but accepts clients in surrounding cities including Houston, San Benito and Harlingen. Call us today at 956-504-2211.

Back to top

Information Center

Back to top

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution in Texas?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an alternative to traditional litigation. Instead of seeking resolution from a judge in a courtroom setting, both parties attempt to resolve matters using alternative means including mediation, arbitration, and negotiation.

What is Mediation in Texas?

Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution. It is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party. Unlike arbitration, mediation doesn’t involve decision making by the neutral third party. This type of alternative dispute resolution is common in small claims courts, family courts, and some criminal court programs and neighborhood justice centers. The mediation process is generally considered more inexpensive than formal litigation. If a resolution is reached during the mediation process, the agreement must be honored to the same degree as a court order. These mediation agreements can be oral or written.

In the courtroom, unlike a judge or an arbitrator, the mediator won’t decide the outcome of the case. The mediator’s task is to help both parties resolve the problem through a process that encourages each side to agree on a satisfactory solution.

Arbitration Agreement in Texas

Arbitration is the most traditional form of private dispute resolution. It is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted by both parties to one or more arbitrators who make a binding or non-binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties pursue a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.

If the decision is binding, then both parties will be bound by the arbitrator’s final decision. However, not all arbitration cases result in a binding decision. In some cases, the decision is non-binding and the parties can still pursue their right to a formal trial.

Back to top

The Importance of Negotiation in Texas

Negotiation, as common as it sounds, is a method by which people settle differences. It is a process where a compromise or an agreement between two parties occur. In order to achieve a desirable outcome, both parties often prepare a meeting, discuss their understanding of a situation, clarify any goals, and ultimately, negotiate towards a win-win situation.

Alternation Dispute Resolution Definitions

There are several definitions associated with alternative dispute resolution under Texas Code Sec. 154.001. The term “court” includes an appellate court, district court, constitutional county court, statutory county court, family law court, probate court, municipal court, or justice of the peace court. “Dispute resolution organization” means a private profit or nonprofit corporation, political subdivision, or public corporation, or a combination of these, that offers alternative dispute resolution services to the public.

Under this statute, Texas carries the responsibility of encouraging the peaceable resolution of disputes. However, special consideration is meant to be given to disputes involving the parent-child relationship, including the mediation of issues involving conservatorship, possession, and support of children, and the early settlement of pending litigation through voluntary settlement procedures. It is the responsibility of all trial, appellate courts and their court administrators to carry out this policy.

Back to top

Additional Resources

American Bar Association – Visit the American Bar Association (ABA) page to learn about dispute resolution. The webpage describes what it is and what are the different types of dispute resolution processes. The ABA’s mission is to increase public understanding of and respect for the rule of law, the legal process, and the role of the legal profession at home and throughout the world.

Association for Conflict Resolution – The mission of Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is to enhance the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. Visit the website to view the organization’s upcoming events and resource center.

United States District & Bankruptcy Courts of Southern Districts of Texas – Visit the webpage to read about the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. The page lists the different types of ADR methods including mediation, mini trial, summary jury trial, early neutral evaluation, and non-binding arbitration.

Back to top

Brownsville Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers in Texas

Many people prefer to avoid the hostility, loss of privacy, and expenses associated with going to trial. If you are considering alternative dispute resolution, our Texas family law attorneys can help guide you in the appropriate direction. Contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. today to learn more about ADR and how we may be able to serve in your case.

We represent families in Cameron County, Hidalgo County and Willacy County. Attorney Jonathan Gracia and his team also defend clients in the Brownsville, TX area and surrounding cities including Houston, San Benito and Harlingen. Call us at 956-504-2211 if you need a family law attorney or assistance with another family matter.

Back to top