When it comes to mediation the last thing you want is a message carrier handing numbers back and forth until each party settles on an agreeable dollar amount. Sure, that gets the job done at the end of the day, but were you and your clients served well?
Mediation must be more than just monetary proposals being sent from one room to the other. Otherwise, both you and your clients will leave feeling exhausted and unaccomplished.
Adam Curley is a Houston mediation attorney with extensive experience in a wide range of fields. In his first couple years as an attorney, he represented various residents and businesses that were denied or underpaid by insurance companies after losses due to hurricanes.
From there he dove into business litigation, business disputes, and large commercial transactions. He then opened up his own practice, handling a large range of cases and clients.
The combination of Curley’s experience and genuine desire to meet the needs of every party involved make him the mediation attorney you’re looking for. He will not only look at the monetary proposals, but help the parties’ become aware of their goals, needs, and interests surrounding the case.
This allows each party to gain a better understanding and perspective of each other, leading to the removal of emotional barriers that often prevent resolution. The parties’ can then see other paths to an amicable resolution.
So, having a Houston mediator like Adam Curley can help everyone walk away knowing that needs were met and goals were accomplished. Each party is then able to move forward knowing that they reached the best possible outcome.
What Is Mediation in Houston?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Trials can be long, expensive, and unpredictable. The parties to a dispute can use a mediator to end ongoing litigation or avoid it altogether.
A neutral and impartial third party will serve as the mediator for the two parties during the mediation process. A Houston mediator will facilitate discussions between the parties and work with them to develop a solution for everyone. Once the parties reach an agreement, they will typically sign a settlement agreement.
Mediation vs. Arbitration
Arbitration is another type of alternative dispute resolution that can help parties avoid litigation. Although mediation and arbitration both use neutral third parties, there are some critical differences between the two techniques.
The most crucial difference is that in arbitration, the arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) will hear both sides of the dispute and issue a decision on the case.
Where mediation is a collaborative process, arbitration is more adversarial, like an actual trial. Arbitration can also be much more expensive than mediation.
Who Can Be a Mediator in Houston?
Technically, anyone can serve as a mediator in Texas. Although court-appointed mediators require a 40-hour training course, this requirement does not apply to private mediation.
Because of the lack of requirements, it’s essential to vet a potential mediator carefully. In general, a good mediator should meet the following guidelines.
In Houston, mediation with a lawyer offers a key advantage over non-licensed mediators. A law license shows that the mediator has met the minimum requirements to be a practicing attorney in Texas and has competent knowledge of Texas law.
A licensed attorney is also more likely to have the experience to mediate business law matters.
Good Houston mediators should understand the laws relating to the cases they take. It can be hard to facilitate a successful mediation if you do not understand the actual dispute.
A good mediator needs to have the right personality and social skills. Due to the collaborative nature of mediation, a mediator needs to know how to listen.
Mediators should listen closely to the parties and understand their concerns. Only then can the mediator guide the conversation into productive avenues.
A good mediator also knows how to keep discussions civil or take a break when things become too tense. These soft skills can take time to learn, but they are essential to creating a collaborative environment.
Why Should You Use a Houston Mediator?
Mediation offers a way to resolve your case in a fast and effective manner. Mediation can also change the way the parties see the issue.
By switching from an adversarial framework to a collaborative one, you can take out some tension and emotion and start working on real solutions. Mediation is beneficial when the parties want to leave the door open for future business.
Another benefit of mediation is its cost. Arbitration can be costly. Litigation can be even more so, and costs can build up over time, especially with mountains of discovery requests. Mediation can offer a fast and affordable way to resolve the case before costs get out of control.
Talk to a Houston Mediation Attorney Today
Mediation can be a good option for resolving disputes, but only with the right mediator. Business disputes can get technical and complex. A mediator without real business law experience could end up causing more harm than good.
Adam Curley is an experienced business law attorney and mediator. Adam’s extensive knowledge of business law means he understands the cases he mediates. You deserve a knowledgeable and qualified mediator to help resolve your matter.
Contact the Curley Law Firm today to learn more.
Houston Mediation FAQs
What Is Mediation, and How Does It Differ From Traditional Litigation in Resolving Legal Disputes in Houston?
What is mediation? Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR), encompassing various processes and techniques to solve legal disagreements without litigation. In mediation, a neutral third party helps disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Unlike litigation, which is adversarial, mediation is an informal process aiming to solve the issues at hand in a more collaborative environment. Most civil cases can be brought before Houston mediators, including:
- Family law cases,
- Landlord-tenant disputes,
- Probate cases, and
- Consumer protection cases.
If reconciliation is possible, Texas courts encourage mediation before filing a lawsuit. This is because traditional litigation can be lengthy and costly, especially in Houston. TTraditional litigation means each side may incur significant legal fees, including attorney, court, and procedural expenses. The discovery process for a lawsuit alone can involve depositions, investigations, and other evidence gathering. In addition, lengthy court proceedings, including pre-trial hearings, trials, and appeals, can drag disputes out for months or even years.
As an alternative, the benefits of mediation include a more collaborative environment and lower legal costs. Parties can voice their concerns, explore solutions, and craft a resolution tailored to their needs, often leading to faster and more cost-effective outcomes. Unlike traditional litigation or arbitration, someone does not need to be a lawyer to become a mediator. However, it is a good idea to hire a mediator who deeply understands the area of law the dispute deals with.
What Is the Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration?
While both are ADR methods, they differ in fundamental ways. Mediation involves a neutral third party facilitating communication between parties to help them reach a voluntary agreement. The mediator doesn’t impose any decisions on the parties but assists them in finding common ground. Mediation agreements can be legally binding if they are properly drafted and signed by both parties, but only if they agree.
Arbitration is an entirely different process. It involves a neutral third-party arbitrator, or panel of arbitrators, who act as judges and make a binding decision after considering evidence and arguments presented by both parties. In arbitration, the decision is usually final and legally binding, akin to a court judgment.
In Texas, arbitrations are covered by the Texas Arbitration Act, which allows parties to resolve their disputes outside the traditional court system. This process offers formality, confidentiality, flexibility, and faster resolution than litigation. In addition, awards rendered by arbitrators in Texas are enforceable in Texas courts. This gives the parties finality to the dispute resolution process while offering a more streamlined and efficient route than traditional litigation.
If you are involved in a legal dispute and want to solve the issue without traditional litigation, an experienced Houston mediation lawyer can be your biggest advocate. While attorneys are not necessary for mediation, it is strongly recommended to involve an experienced attorney throughout the process. They will serve as your guide throughout the dispute resolution process. These attorneys bring specialized skills to navigate negotiations, ensuring your interests remain protected while advocating for a fair and favorable outcome. It is important to note that even though the mediator in your case may be an attorney, they are not ethically allowed to give participants legal advice during mediation. Even though mediation is more informal, attending a session without the help of a Houston mediation attorney can significantly impact your case’s outcome.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing Mediation over Arbitration for My Houston Area Case?
Choosing mediation over arbitration presents certain advantages. Mediation encourages a collaborative atmosphere where parties actively participate in developing a resolution. This gives both sides more control over the outcome. Arbitration, conversely, results in a binding decision enforceable in Texas courts, no matter the outcome. Ultimately, mediation encourages dialogue, creative solutions, and the preservation of relationships.
Arbitration, while not as costly or lengthy as traditional litigation, is still a somewhat adversarial process with less flexibility in scheduling. Mediation, however, allows for flexibility in scheduling sessions, which is more convenient and accommodates each party’s needs. Another advantage of mediation is confidentiality. Some arbitration sessions may involve public hearings and decisions, while mediation proceedings and agreements remain private. Mediation is often the better option for parties looking to resolve their legal disputes without airing any laundry in public. Ultimately, choosing mediation for your Texas legal matter empowers the parties involved to actively participate in finding an acceptable solution for both sides.