Arbitration/Mediation

As arbitration clauses in contracts have proliferated, arbitration has become a forum where more and more cases are resolved. The courts, the Federal Arbitration Act, and the Texas Arbitration Act have all expressed support for enforcement of arbitration provisions. Instead of taking their dispute to the courts, the parties to an arbitration agreement agree that one or more neutral persons, who are not acting as judges, will adjudicate the parties' dispute. The goal is to have a speedier process than in the court system and sometimes also to have an arbitrator who is more knowledgeable about the industry or subject matter than a judge may be.

The goal of a speedier process in arbitration is sometimes thwarted when one of the parties pursues litigation despite the arbitration clause or seeks a determination by a court that the dispute is not subject to the arbitration clause. Sometimes the arbitration clause can be found to be unenforceable or the dispute does not fit within the scope of the clause. There also can be litigation after an arbitration hearing has been concluded. Sometimes parties bring suits in court to challenge the enforceability of the arbitrator's award or seek to vacate the award on various grounds. Even if there are no challenges to the award, if the losing party refuses to pay, the prevailing party will still have to file an action in court to have the award recognized.

Mediation is an attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement or compromise between disputants through the objective intervention of a neutral party. In mediation, the mediator does not adjudicate the rights of the parties but rather tries to facilitate enough dialogue and negotiation between the parties so that they can reach a settlement themselves.

Our attorneys are well versed in the procedures and rules governing arbitration and mediation. Over the years they have represented clients in both arbitration proceedings and mediations with repeated success. Our attorneys pride themselves on ensuring the important issues of the client govern the process as opposed to the process governing the outcome. Attorneys of the Firm have also served as mediators and arbitrators.