Mounger and Campbell LLP

Photo taken by Iris Campbell

Mounger & Campbell LLP
190 Oak Drive
Wimberley, TX 78676

(512) 847-1308
Fax: (512) 847-3590

Mounger & Campbell Arrow Mediation
Mediation: A Fair Negotiation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a private process in which an impartial person, (a mediator) encourages and facilitates communications between parties to a conflict and strives to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding. A mediator’s obligation is to assist the parties in reaching a voluntary settlement. A mediator does not act as a judge, an arbitrator, a counselor, or an advisor to the parties. A mediator does not render a decision on the issues in dispute. The primary responsibility for the resolution of a dispute rests with the parties.

An attempt at mediation is required in many counties before parties to a family law dispute may have a hearing before a judge that will take 3 hours of more.

How long will mediation take?

Mediations can be as long or as short as the parties determine is necessary to negotiate a full and fair agreement regarding their dispute. Generally, mediations will be set for half-day or full-day sessions. The sessions are set appropriately, considering the complexity of the issues involved. If, after your session is complete, you and the opposing part wish to continue discussions further, you can re-schedule for another half-day or full-day session to continue working toward settlement.

What is the value of mediation?

The most significant value to mediation is that it gives the parties complete control over the outcome of their dispute. The parties can fashion a creative settlement that fits their unique goals, lifestyles, values and needs. The parties can be, and are encouraged to be, as creative as possible in fashioning an order that they will be able to live with indefinitely. Instead of going to court, where a judge imposes a decision on the parties after a few hours, in mediation the parties create an order that considers all the important factors.

  • The process is private. Avoiding a public courtroom where a record of all proceedings is made, the parties can feel free to discuss, negotiate, propose creative options for settlement, and vent frustrations in a private atmosphere.

  • The process is confidential. State law requires that, except in very limited circumstances, the mediation process and all communications made during the mediation process are confidential. Settlement options offered during mediation can never be repeated in court later, if mediation should fail. A mediator cannot be called to testify about what occurred during mediation and the mediator will generally destroy all notes made during the mediation process, except for any final agreement made by the parties.

  • The parties are not constrained by time. Parties can take as long as they need to work out their dispute. This is very different from the litigation process where the parties will be limited to the time allotted them by a very congested court docket.

  • The parties are a lot more likely to comply with an order that they created themselves, rather than one that is imposed upon them.
  • Scenarios:
    Family Disputes:

    Often people will ask what is mediation or dispute resolution, and we think it can best be explained in the following fictitious scenario:

    Susan and Jack have two children, own their home, have two automobiles, $2,000 in savings, and owe $1,500 on credit cards. More importantly, each believe that their marriage can no longer be sustained due to marital discord. Being wise and loving parents, Jane and Jack know that the social data indicates that children suffer deeply in a divorce, along with the parents and want to end their marriage with the least pain to all members of the family. With the issue of family finances being a preoccupation, they are looking for the most cost effective way to negotiate the terms of a divorce for presentation to the judge for a final decree.

    Jack and Jane would contact Lone Star Dispute Resolution and Mediation, and we would tell them that we have created a process that is tailored to their exact needs. In this process, a certified mediator works with Jack and Jane to identify the issues on which they must focus, and through careful negotiation, helps the couple achieve a written statement agreement signed by Jack and Jane that addresses every element required by the court for a final decree.

    With this agreement and Jack and Jane’s consent, it is possible for one attorney to prepare and file the petition and soon thereafter acquire a final decree of divorce, thus avoiding lengthy, divisive, and painful dispute.

    Business & Professional Disputes

    Sarah and Brenda have been long-time friends and decide they are going to form a business relationship and create a retain outlet center. Sarah is experienced in the retail business and has established contacts along with a formal education applicable to the enterprise. Brenda, newly divorced, has some life savings and the desire to start up something new. After 14 months of working together, it is clear that the friendship is in jeopardy.

    Sarah has started making decisions without consulting Brenda, and Brenda believes she is being sidelined and no longer a true partner in the business. Sarah is following excepted basic practices, but Brenda needs the emotional and supportive relationship and is unhappy with the arrangement wherein she is not being consulted. Sarah and Brenda believe the time has come for them to end their business partnership. Knowing that their hard work has some fair market value, and that there is some debt and other obligations involved with the business, they see that the remedy involves several difficulties needing resolution. They call a mediator for help. The certified mediators of Lone Star Dispute Resolution and Mediation identify the issues and proceed to deal systematically with them to negotiate their way to an amicable written mediation agreement.
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