What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process by which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between disputing parties, in order to promote reconciliation, settlement and understanding among them. The mediator as a neutral does not give opinions or judgments during mediation.
How long has the Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC) been functioning?
The DCDRC was approved by a Commissioner’s Court Order on November 8, 2011, with an official start date of January 3, 2012.
What are the criteria used to refer cases to the DCDRC?
The DCDRC receives case referrals directly from the Courts.
How can we get an appointment on the DCDRC calendar?
After your case has been referred to the DCDRC, please contact our offices within seven days to get an appointment scheduled.
What are the fees associated with the DCDRC?
To date, there is no fee associated with this program. Qualified mediators are providing their services on a pro bono basis.
The Judge ordered us to mediation. Do I need to hire an attorney?
The decision to retain counsel is ultimately up to the litigant’s discretion. The DCDRC functions solely on case referrals directly from the Courts.
There was a search performed for mediators in the Dallas area in private practice and your Center did not appear in the search results. Why?
The DCDRC is a public service, not a private sector mediation practice. The DCDRC was established to address an unmet need for the citizens/residents of Dallas County. This in-house program is offered as a service to the public and in no way competes in the private market.
How does the DCDRC secure qualified mediators?
The DCDRC relies heavily on the assistance of skilled, qualified mediators who commit to mediating two pro bono cases per year. Our qualified and experienced volunteer mediators have obtained their 40-Hour Introductory Certificate and have completed additional training as needed to become skilled at their craft. The DCDRC keeps records of all mediators as they are added to our directory of participating mediators. Qualified, experienced mediators interested in joining this growing list of volunteers, should contact the ADR Coordinator or Administrative Assistant at (214) 653-7898 or visit the Dallas County ADR Webpage to download the Mediator Application.
How will I know what to bring to mediation?
After your case has been referred to the DCDRC, the DCDRC will mail out a packet to parties notifying them of their scheduled mediation date. This packet will include a cover letter, mediation order (whenever possible), rules for mediation, directions to the building, and a pre intake form. The pre intake form will be returned to the DCDRC for filing purposes.
Where are the sessions held?
The DCDRC hosts mediations at the George Allen Sr. Courts Building. Our administrative offices are located at 600 Commerce Street, 6th Floor, Suite 681-D, Dallas, TX 75202. You will be guided to the appropriate room (also located on the 6th floor) by a representative from the DCDRC. It is at that time that you will meet your mediator who will conduct the mediation.
When are the sessions held?
Mediation sessions are scheduled for either a ½ day session (up to four hours) or a full day session (up to eight hours). Mediation sessions are normally held at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively. If there are circumstances that require the mediation to be rescheduled, the DCDRC will reschedule the mediation according to the availability of all parties and the mediator.
How are mediators selected for cases?
They are selected according to three factors: First, the DCDRC strives to match the mediator to the case that falls within his/her area of expertise, availability and position in the DCDRC rotation. These factors determine the right mediator for a case.
Is there a rescheduling or cancellation policy?
The DCDRC reschedules cases if we are notified in a timely manner. A confirmation call is made three days prior to your session for this very reason. If, after the confirmation call, your mediation has to be rescheduled, please contact the DCDRC at (214) 653-7898.