Resolve Contested Guardianship, Trust Or Probate Disputes Through Mediation
Over the last 40 years, courts in Texas have become increasingly insistent that parties to litigation attempt to resolve their conflicts through “Mediation” before bringing their case to trial for a judge or a jury to decide. Mediation is a process that involves using a neutral person (the “mediator”) to go between the parties to see if they can reach a resolution by agreement. While courts usually insist on mediation, many parties also find mediation is a better route than going to trial. A trial is costly, it’s public and it happens on the court’s timetable – sometimes far in the future. Pursuing a timely result through mediation can often avoid many of the downsides of a trial, and it gives the parties the ability to choose their own outcome to the litigation.
Ford + Bergner LLP frequently represents clients in mediations, and our founding Attorney Don D. Ford III provides services as a mediator to assist other parties in resolving their conflicts. When serving as a mediator, Mr. Ford brings his extensive experience as a litigator to assist the clients to understand the realities of their disputes.
Getting Ready To Do Well In A Mediated Case
Preparing for mediation may look very similar to preparation for a trial. Each side will prepare evidence and compelling arguments in support of the outcomes that they seek. The process of mediation, however, differs in several key aspects:
- Proceedings are absolutely confidential. All parties involved are bound to keep the discussions confidential. Deliberations will not become part of the public record through a court.
- The mediator is neutral. He or she may be a lawyer, a retired judge or a professional mediator. In probate, guardianship, and trust mediations, the mediator is usually selected based on their strong expertise in the probate, guardianship, and trust law arena.
- Both sides will share evidence with the mediator as to why the outcome should be as they hope it to be. The mediator will only share that evidence with the opposing party if you authorize the mediator to do so.
- Mediation may continue over time, at a schedule that is agreeable to both parties.
- Mediation continues until a resolution is reached. If this does not happen, the case may then need to go to trial.
- Mediation is often more efficient and cost-effective than a trial.
- If a case settles at mediation, the mediator will notify the Court that the case has settled. The parties may then need to approach the Court to enter Orders consistent with the mediation agreement.
Preparing for mediation is as serious a matter as going to court, but with fewer risks. Ford + Bergner LLP prepares clients for mediation regarding probate disputes, guardianship disputes and other estate-related matters such as will contests. The firm’s 20+ years of experience have prepared us to represent clients vigorously and effectively in mediated cases just as we do at trial.
Schedule A Consultation To Plan For Mediation
Get legal counsel about how to resolve your dispute with full consideration of the most compelling arguments on your side. Call 713-352-0937 or send an email inquiry to request a meeting with a dedicated lawyer who may become your mediator or your advocate in mediation.