I am an attorney and a mediator.  In the last few months I have acted as a mediator in helping settle a dispute and represented parties in a mediation where my role was to be advocate for my client.  If you have have a need for a mediator in Fort Bend County, or have a dispute in which you need representation, we are here to help.  It is a common belief that mediation can not occur until you are already involved in a lawsuit.  While that is what normally happens, you could save yourself thousands of dollars and hours of time by agreeing to mediate your dispute prior to filing suit.  Mediation can be with or without attorneys.   I have heard an argument that we don’t want to mediate now because if it doesn’t settle and we have to file suit, the Court will probably make us mediate the case anyway.  While it is true that most Courts will either strongly suggest or even require mediation prior to trial, a pre-suit mediation can fulfill that requirement by agreement of the parties.  This allows you to potentially resolve the dispute early, saving time and money and if it doesn’t settle, potentially speeding up the time it would take to get to trial  Carpenter & Carpenter, P.C. is a Fort Bend County firm based in Sugar Land, Texas which handles mediation and litigation throughout the United States.   If you have any questions regarding mediation, please call our office.

Arbitration is not mediation.  It is not mediation.  It is well you get it.  Mediation is non-binding meeting where the parties work together to come to an agreement.  Arbitration is essentially a trial to a arbitrator who acts as judge and jury and generally their decision is final without any appeal.  It has been argued that arbitration provides a fast and cost effective way to resolve disputes.  I disagree.   Generally I find it to be more expensive than a normal trial and depending on the complexity of the case can last longer.  The other issue is the appearance of one party being at a disadvantage.  If you are a mega company and go to arbitration constantly there could be a perception that ruling against you may harm the ability of the arbitrator to get more work from your company vs. the person who has only the one claim.  The cost can be significant in that you are paying not only for the “normal” cost of litigation (depositions, records, etc.) but also for the time of the arbitrator.   If the arbitrator were to completely misapply the law you probably are out of luck as there is generally no appeal.  I realize that many contracts have arbitration agreements built into them, but I would suggest you attempt to have the parties go to mediation prior to arbitration.    As you can see I am not a fan of arbitration, but I realize that there are circumstances where you have to attend.  If so are firm has the experience to assist you in the arbitration, either in representation or as an arbitrator.   Finally, if you have the option to draft an agreement with a dispute resolution clause, I would recommend you include a provision for a bench trial rather than arbitration, it accomplishes most of the stated goals of arbitration without the additional cost of the arbitrator (your taxes are paying for the judge) and both parties would have the ability to appeal, if necessary.

Mediation is a chance to resolve your case.  It can happen because a Court orders it or because the parties agree.  The timing if Court ordered is usually after most of the discovery is completed and before trial, but can occur at any point.  Mediation is a procedure where people and/or companies with disputes bring there differences to a neutral person (a mediator) or several people to help them settle the dispute.  There are several important rules about mediation which helps in the settlement.  First:  Anything said in the mediation is confidential and can not be used at any other purpose other than to settle the claim.  Second:  No one is allowed to know what happened in mediation unless the case settles and the parties agree.  If the case does not settle all the Court will be told is that it was mediated and it was not resolved so there is nothing to harm you.  Third:  The mediator’s job is to try and resolve the case and will bring his or her experience to help each side explore different options to come to a resolution.

Mediations can be used in all types of disputes including car crash, personal injury, death, premises liability, product liability, business, insurance, family law, etc.

At the offices Carpenter & Carpenter, P.C. located in Sugar Land, Texas in Fort Bend County, we provide mediation services for individuals, corporations and insurance companies.   Brent Carpenter is a certified mediator who has not only acted as a neutral mediator, but has represented parties in both mediator and arbitration across Texas over the last 20+ years and has mediated cases in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harris County; Brazoria County, Waller County, Washington County, Travis County, Ector County, Travis County, Cameron County and other Counties across Texas.  If you have any questions about the mediation process or need a mediator or representation in a mediation or arbitration, please contact our office.