Request for Advance Information

A suggestion

Want to get the very best bang for the buck out of your mediator? Or at least this mediator? I feel that my very best service to you and your client is through gaining a basic understanding of the case before you walk through the door.

Note: All relevant forms may be found on our website.

How to prep me

Firstly, send me advance information on your case. More on that later.

Secondly, have a brief phone chat with me a few day prior to the mediation.

What type of advance information?

This depends on the type of case. I have listed below, for some major categories of cases, some suggested pieces of information. Feel free to use these ideas or do it any other way that makes sense for you, and is efficient. You know your case and will know how to best get me up to speed.

You should, of course, use your own judgment about supplying privileged or confidential reports or documents, but rest assured that all privileged and confidential information will be treated as information obtained in private caucus and will not be divulged to the other side directly or indirectly without your express consent.

Please include as much of the information as is applicable and which you believe will be helpful. It is not my purpose to make your job harder. Please advise if you wish for me to hold it as confidential at this time. This material should be in my hands as soon as possible but preferably, at least ONE WEEK PRIOR to the mediation.

All cases

  1. Live pleadings
  2. Any TROs, Injunctions, Rule 11 Agreements, Standing Orders, Temporary Orders
  3. Full identification of your party — enough for me to do conflict checking.
  4. Identification of everyone who will be attending the mediation. If it is anyone for your party other than from your office, please know that my usual rule is to have no non-party people present, nor accessible by phone.
  5. If someone is appearing purporting to have authority for your party (other than you and an adjuster in an insurance defense case), please have a power of attorney in hand. I have a suggested form: GLJ SPECIAL DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY for mediation.

Family law (divorce or sapcr)

Some of the following items may not apply to your case. In the interest of expediency, this is a “stock” message intended to cover most variations in a family law case.

  1. A synopsis of the case, not to exceed one page.
  2. A general description of the extent of discovery conducted to date.
  3. List, with brief narrative, the major facts in dispute, not to exceed one page.
  4. Statement of the issues in dispute (as in an appellate brief)
  5. Your position in each issue and the opposing party’s position
  6. The status and substance of any offers and counteroffers in compromise of any of the issues
  7. Any unusual legal issues involved as well as citations to any authorities which you feel support your position on these issues, and which you think would be particularly helpful to me in understanding them.
  8. Where support is an issue, please include the financial information schedules commonly required by the courts
  9. Where custody of a child is involved, please include copies of social studies and psychological reports that were ordered by the court
  10. Where property or debts are at issue, copy of sworn inventories or comparable documents. They should be updated with a fresh signature and dated within three weeks of the mediation.
  11. Property spreadsheet if either of you have one compiled.

Here are links to forms (shamelessly purloined from the Harris County District Clerk’s site) that you may use for compiling some of the essential information or possibly for use as an exhibit to the Mediated Settlement Agreement:  Family Financial Info   Child Support Info   Agreed Temporary Orders

Also, please have the following available at the mediation where property is at issue:

  1. Full description of each parcel of real property.
  2. Account numbers for all financial and investment accounts.
  3. VIN # for each vehicle, boat registration #s, and equivalent for any other registered significant asset.
  4. In a comparable manner, unique descriptions of any other significant assets.
  5. Your own proposed divisions if you have one compiled.
  6. Any other data you feel may possibly be helpful in creating a definitive description of assets and liabilities to be dealt with in a property division.
  7. Draft of a final decree, modification or other order as applicable, if you wish.

Other than divorce/SAPCR or CPS

Some of the following items may not apply to your case. In the interest of expediency, this is a “stock” message intended to cover most variations.

  1. A synopsis of the case, not to exceed one page.
  2. A general description of the extent of discovery conducted to date.
  3. List, with brief narrative, the major facts in dispute, not to exceed one page.
  4. Statement of the issues in dispute (as in an appellate brief)
  5. Your position in each issue and the opposing party’s position
  6. The status and substance of any offers and counteroffers in compromise of any of the issues
  7. Any unusual legal issues involved as well as citations to any authorities which you feel support your position on these issues, and which you think would be particularly helpful to me in understanding them.

Child protection (CPS) cases

Some of the following items may not apply to your case. In the interest of expediency, this is a “stock” message intended to cover most variations.

  1. A synopsis of the case, not to exceed one page. In particular, point out where the parent has or has not complied with material parts of the Service Plan.
  2. (CASA also comply with this step): A statement of your “position” in the case, that is, what you want to see happen at the end of the day.
  3. Identification of your main “interests” in an outcome, that is, the most important things to gain, protect, or avoid. Distinguish “interests” from your “position.” Obviously, this WILL BE HELD IN CONFIDENCE. This is optional information and can be discussed at the mediation.
  4. A general description of the extent of discovery conducted to date, if any.
  5. List, with brief narrative, the major facts in dispute, not to exceed one page.
  6. Affirm that either all parties are in the case or if any are not, that a comprehensive diligent search has been made.
  7. CPS Caseworker: please forward by email the latest report to the Court unless you know I already have it.
  8. CASA G/A/L: please forward by email the latest report to the Court unless you know I already have it.

For parties in CPS case with hired counsel, please note:  Whereas the County pays the mediator on behalf of indigent parties who have qualified for court-appointed counsel, a party with hired counsel must pay the “per party” fee.

Payment details

More detail is available on the Payments Page, but here is the short version.

Payment is due from each side at least FIVE business days prior to your mediation session. The Fee Schedule which may be accessed from the website is hereby made a part of the Agreement to Mediate.  If you wish to pay on the day of the mediation, you may do so by credit card (additional processing charge) or by one of the forms of check discussed in the next paragraph, and you should arrive at least 15 minutes early so that those details will not consume valuable mediation time and attention.

I DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS EXCEPT cashier’s check, insurance company check, corporate check of a major corporation, or check drawn on the bank account of (or payment guaranteed by) a law firm and payable to Judge Gil Jones, Mediator at 1307 2nd Street, Suite D, Marble Falls, TX 78654.  The Tax ID number is 74-2622672.  OR payment may be made by credit card using the Square system by clicking here. There is a slight processing fee to pay by credit card.