What is mediation?

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In its simplest terms, mediation is a process to settle conflict without going to trial. Mediation is often possible early in litigation before the discovery costs have escalated and before tempers have become strained. Prior even to filing a lawsuit mediation can resolve differences — the best of all possible scenarios.

Texas law in the Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines it thusly:

Sec. 154.023.  MEDIATION. (a) Mediation is a forum in which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them.

(b)  A mediator may not impose his own judgment on the issues for that of the parties.

(c)  Mediation includes victim-offender mediation by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice described in Article 56.13, Code of Criminal Procedure. (emphasis is mine)


forum may be understood to be a place or method for discussion. The mediator is the impartial person in the discussion. The value of the mediator is that he or she facilitates communication between the parties.

Conflict occurs whenever  two  or more  parties believe  they have  incompatible  goals or limited resources. Conflict is inevitable, but is destructive only when the  parties cannot resolve  their differences. Dispute occurs when parties get “stuck” in their normal methods of resolving conflict.

When can mediations be effective?

  • when emotions are intense;
  • when communication has broken down and the litigants have been unable to restart effective communication;
  • when disagreements exist in the interpretation of facts or understanding data;
  • when issues are perceived differently or perhaps the parties either don’t understand the issues or cannot prioritize them in order to productively work through to a settlement;
  • when interests of the parties differ, either actually or in perception.
  • when an effective process for negotiation has not been established, or the parties are  having  difficulty getting it started.

Judge Jones’ objective in mediating your case will be facilitate an effective process to turn your conflict into productive conversation leading to a resolution of your dispute.

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