Additional Venues for Mediation and other services
Judge Jones is available for many forms of resolving conflict. While conventional mediation in pending litigation is the most-used format of dispute resolution, other venues and forms of resolving conflict may be more appropriate.
It is not necessary in mediation for a lawsuit to have already been filed. An agreeable resolution is often easier to achieve if the the angst and expense of protracted litigation has not elevated the conflict and anxiety. If the essential facts are not substantially in dispute then pre-litigation mediation can “cut to the chase” before large sums of money are spent on discovery and trial preparation.
If you are an individual not represented by a lawyer, mediation is available to you too. However, if legal issues predominate the dispute or if you are not comfortable handling it on your own, then by all means have a lawyer involved. Keep in mind that the mediator cannot give legal advice.
Pre-mediation conflict coaching
Prior to mediation it can be helpful for some parties to have personal conflict coaching in preparation for the mediation. The party who has a clear understanding of the mediation process and has been prepared to present him or herself and endure the give and take of negotiating has the upper hand. Judge Jones is available to do that personal coaching in cases that he is not mediating.
Disputes and outright conflict often occur in the workplace. Worker & worker, boss & worker, upper management & middle management, and sometimes competing groups of employees can wind up in conflict. Many times the workplace human resources (HR) department can arrange for mediation services. Any organization (family business, small or large business or corporation, church, government agency) can benefit from mediation in situations such as
- Civil rights or EEO complaints
- Workplace disability issues
- Management and employee complaints
- Team or group conflict
- Team or Individual performance issues
- Family business disputes
- Business partnership issues
- ANY difficult conversation
Community / public interest disputes
Community interests can breed disputes. Whether the question is about building a dog park or a new school, how to re-develop the downtown area, a POA conflict, or any other aspect of community interaction there is often room for disputes. Mediation may be productive between competing group interests, groups or government with individuals, or business-to-business matters.
Non-traditional mediation areas
Mediation is possible in a variety of circumstances. The usual areas of general civil and divorce/family disputes are obvious. As a general jurisdiction trial court judge Judge Jones also had extensive criminal and juvenile experience from the bench and therefore offers mediation in the following additional areas that are often overlooked as possibilities for dispute resolution:
In cooperation with a juvenile court, mediations can be held on-site at the Juvenile Court. This process allows the alleged juvenile offenders and their victims to meet face-to-face to discuss the impact of the offense and to arrange for restitution or another solution agreeable to both parties.
Pre-release and parent-child
Judge Jones is also available to the courts, parents and their children prior to a child’s release to the home. These mediations may be ordered by the courts give the teen and the parents an opportunity to discuss what they each will do once the teen returns to the home. The court’s goal is for teens and parents to reach a family agreement before the teen is released.
Mediation can also be helpful in certain types of criminal cases involving potential monetary restitution. Theft cases involving serial occurrences with volumes of data and fiduciary-related crimes are particularly well-suited to offender-victim mediation. The goal is to arrive at a mutually agreeable, factually based, dollar amount. Judge Jones’ CPA background combined with the judicial experience allows him to assist the parties in arriving at a figure that is understood, reasonable, and capable of achievement by the offender.
When a Chapter 591 asset forfeiture occurs there are significant issues of valuation and compromise that may be implicated. Judge Jones’ experience on the bench coupled with his CPA skills make a unique combination to resolve disputes centered on a forfeiture.
- Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 59 (see http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CR/htm/CR.59.htm) ↩