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A mediator is NOT an attorney, CPA, or marriage counselor; does NOT give legal, financial, or counselor advice; a mediator offers trained guidance to reach a settlement. Employment of an attorney and also a financial expert when a substantial amount of assets are involved is recommended.


PROFESSIONAL MEDIATION SERVICES, Mediation Services, Lubbock, TX
PROFESSIONAL MEDIATION SERVICES, Mediation Services, Lubbock, TX
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Arbitration Mediation
Free Initial Phone Consultation
Call 806-535-1535 (Lubbock)    
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"Mediation looks to the future to find a solution to the problems, not to the past to place blame."                                                             
Family Elder Mediation
Divorce Mediation Information
Business mediation Information
Civil Lawsuits Mediation
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IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP...if you fear for your own safety or your children’s safety, please contact the agencies listed below for help NOW. 

Legal Aid Society of Lubbock, Inc. (806) 765-5829

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (806) 763-4557
(800) 933-4557 (Toll Free)

Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney's Office
(806) 775-1100

Lubbock Rape Crisis Center (806) 763-7273

Women's Protective Services (806) 747-6491
(800) 736-6491 (Crisis Hotline)

What is Mediation and how can it help me?

When you are involved in legal disputes like divorce, lawsuits, or business disputes you need an impartial guide to help you stop the chaos and emotional turmoil. The Mediation Process will guide the parties involved in disputes to come to an understanding of the issues and reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. The mediator is impartial, does not represent either party and does not go to court. Agreements can even be accomplished without the parties involved ever meeting face to face.

Court settled disputes:

Make decisions for the parties that have to be lived with and only try to find a fair and equitable solution as defined by law, thus the court may put forth an idea of “fair and equitable” that will not please either party (and possibly their families). The court will not seek to punish either of the parties unless it is a suit for damages and/or punitive damages. The court cannot turn back the clock and remove the hurt, anger, betrayal, and miscommunication that caused the dispute. Your “Day in Court” may be a long time coming and not at all satisfying.

Mediated agreements assist in:

Settling all disputed issues between all parties.
Developing final divorce decrees or parenting orders.
Modifying agreements for:
Child Visitation and/or Custody
Property division
Child or Spousal Support
Settling all types of Business disputes
Preparing pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
Settling family disagreements about Elder care

Mediated agreements help save time, expense, and result in a more satisfactory resolution than can be obtained from a court unfamiliar with the people (or their families) involved in the case. An agreement can reduce required court time if all or most of the issues can be resolved by the parties. 

Confidentiality:

All information is confidential and will not be shared with any other party without permission. Mediators cannot be called to testify in court about anything said in the mediation with the exception of child and/or elder abuse and murder that has not been previously reported.
There are also some other special exceptions in federal courts.



          
























Negotiation-two or more parties discuss directly their conflict and try to resolve
it. There are no third-parties involved.

Mediation-the parties in conflict ask a third-party (the mediator) to try to help them resolve
their conflict. The mediator is a neutral and does not decide what is “fair” or “right.”

Arbitration-the parties to the conflict have agreed that a third-party (the arbitrator) will hear
the evidence presented by each of the parties and make a decision.

Litigation-the term used to describe the filing of a lawsuit in court and the process that
follows the filing of the lawsuit.

(FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TYPES OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION CLICK ON CHART)

           Please call 806-535-1535 for free initial phone consultation 
FAQ:

Unpaid Child Support issues?

The Office of the Texas Attorney General has information about programs to help with these issues.               CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Why use mediation?

Mediation is a chance for people to engage in a private, confidential communication with each other to attempt to find a way to resolve their dispute before they have their lives discussed in an open courtroom for everyone to hear. If each person can put their emotions aside for a time and listen to the other person with an open mind, they may find a way to avoid the long, drawn out, expensive battle in open court. They may even find a way to work through the problems and possibly salvage the relationship .

How does mediation work?

The people involved in a legal or family dispute mutually agree upon a time to meet privately and confidentially with an impartial mediator to discuss their disputed issues and try to reach a mutually agreeable way to resolve the disput. If the parties do not want to be in the same room they can be in separate rooms with the mediator going back and forth between them or even meet with the mediator at different times.

Is Mediation only used in divorce?

Mediation can be used in civil lawsuits, modification of existing divorce decrees, visitation, support, or parent-child orders, family disagreements such as eldercare arrangements; any disagreement that leads to court action should be amenable to mediation if all parties agree to try. Mediation can also be used in just about any business situation, even wage and insurance disputes.

How long does mediation take?

An uncontested divorce with no children and minimal property could probably be completed in 1 ½ to 2 hours. A divorce with children, substantial assets, i.e. property, stock or bonds, retirement programs, a business, and significant difference of opinion could take several hours or even days. A civil lawsuit or business dispute could again be just a single issue or many issues to be discussed. There is no way to determine ahead of time how long a mediation will take, but if the mediator determines there is no progress after a reasonable period of time he/she will end the mediation. The parties may want to set a time limit to stop the mediation if there is no progress in a given period of time as another alternative.

Do I have to keep going with the mediation if I feel we are not making progress?

No, if you feel the mediation is not working, you should tell the mediator and give him/her a chance to see if there is a way to make it work.  If you feel it is still not working for any reason, ask to end the mediation.

What if I feel the mediator is not being impartial?

Ask to meet privately with the mediator and tell them what you are feeling and why you feel that way (if you can). If the mediator cannot alleviate the feeling, then the mediation needs to end.

What if I feel intimidated by the other party, their attorney, or even the mediator?

Ask to meet privately with the mediator and express your concerns. Mediators are trained to recognize signs of these types of actions during mediation and will put the parties in separate rooms before continuing the mediation.

What do I need to bring to a mediation hearing?

Any information concerning the issues to be discussed. Download the forms from this website pertaining to the matter being mediated and gather all the information possible. Include a copy of any temporary orders, pay stubs, insurance information concerning any children, or paperwork supporting your view of what happened to cause the lawsuit in a civil case. The more complete the information, the less time the mediation should require.

Can the mediator testify in court about what was said in the mediation?

No, except in very specific and unusual instances of cases in Federal courts. There are three (3) types of matters a mediator is required by law to report if they are discussed in mediation and have not been reported: child abuse, elder abuse, and murder.

Does the mediator keep records or notes or share information about the mediation with any other person or persons?

No to both. Once the mediation is over, the only information to come out of the mediation is the mediated agreement or a simple statement showing the mediation was held, but did not reach any agreement (impasse). Any notes are destroyed at the conclusion of the mediation.  

Is a “do-it-yourself divorce” possible?

Yes and no. In the event of simple uncontested divorce with no children and minimal property it is usually possible (see "Click here to get more information about Divorce or Divorce Modification Mediation" blue button  at no cost or obligation or the red FREE On line Forms to file for Divorce button above), but it will require some reading and research on your part. A more complicated situation will probably require legal help from an attorney. If the people involved can reach a mediated agreement on their divorce or at least most of the issues, the stress, time, and legal fees should be less than a long, drawn out court battle. The same would be true in a civil lawsuit.

Who pays for the mediation?

Normally the cost is divided equally between the parties, but one party may agree to pay all or a larger part to try to settle things between them.

Can my attorney attend the mediation?

Yes, or you may take a break from the mediation to talk with your attorney, financial adviser, or anyone who can advise you. The other party has the same rights as you do.

Do I have to sign anything during or after the mediation?

Before the mediation can begin, both people must sign the “Rules for Mediation” form stating they understand the rules. At the end there is a “Mediation Status Report” to sign. This just states the mediation was held and the result. If an agreement has been reached, all parties involved have the right to have it reviewed by an attorney before signing it. The agreement will not be a legal document until all parties sign it.

Can I get help to prepare for court ordered mediation?

Yes, Professional Mediation Services can help you prepare by showing you what to expect in a mediation and offer suggestions based on your particular situation to possibly bring the mediation to a faster agreement.

Why might I need an attorney?

You will be held to the same standards an attorney would be in dealing with the courts and filing the required forms. A simple mistake could cost you delays or even get your case thrown out by the court and you would have to start all over again. Look over all the forms required for your situation (“On Line Forms  to File for Divorce” red button on the left side in the blue area above) and decide if you would feel comfortable dealing with them.

What if I don't want a divorce?

Most people don't want a divorce, but sometimes it is the only way they can see to end a situation that has become impossible for them to live with. No one goes into marriage planning on divorce, but people and situations change over time, and what was once a mutually fulfilling relationship is not working for one or both parties. There are many marriage/parenting counselors available to help couples find  a way to repair their marriage or determine that divorce is the best solution for all involved. One agency is Catholic Charities of the Lubbock Diocese. The agency does not require you to be a member of the Catholic faith nor will the agency try to convert you to the Catholic faith. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have been served with divorce papers by your spouse with no warning they were going to do it, with no idea they were so unhappy with the situation, you may have to accept the idea it may be too late to repair the damage. If they have employed an attorney, signed all the papers, and you have been served, you can be fairly certain your spouse has been thinking about this for some time. They have probably accepted the anger and hurt and are preparing to move on with their lives. That doesn't mean you shouldn't make the attempt if you really don't want to end the marriage. Counseling is also available to help you through this transitional period in your life.

        Please call 806-535-1535 for free initial phone consultation 

LEGAL RESOURCE WEB SITES
(Copy and paste if necessary)

TEXAS LAW HELP - legal assistance information for Texans, including divorce form examples. http://www.texaslawhelp.org/TX/index.cfm

LEGAL AID SERVICES PROVIDERS LIST.
http://www.texaslawhelp.org/TX/StateDirectory.cfm/

DIVORCE IN TEXAS WITHOUT CHILDREN – assistance with a pro se divorce.
http://www.texaslawhelp.org/documents/clusters/tx/547/english/index.shtml

TEXAS COURTS ONLINE - PUBLICATIONS & FORMS.
http://www.txcourts.gov/pubs/pubs-home.asp

PROTECTIVE ORDER KIT - information and forms.
http://www.txcourts.gov/oca/pdf/ProtectiveOrderKit-English.pdf

TEXAS GUARDIANSHIP ASSOCIATION - information on guardianship and alternatives to guardianship.        http://texasguardianship.org/

DISABILITY RIGHTS TEXAS - legal assistance relating to disability issues. http://www.disabilityrightstx.org/

ARC OF TEXAS - issues relating to intellectual or developmental disabilities. http://www.thearcoftexas.org/

TEXAS EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS ASSOCIATION - employment discrimination information. http://www.mytela.org/

WORKPLACE FAIRNESS - employment discrimination information.
http://www.workplacefairness.org/

STATE BAR OF TEXAS LAWYER REFERRAL INFORMATION SERVICE (LRIS). http://www.texasbar.com/

TEXAS EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE - funding legal services in Texas
http://www.teajf.org/

TEXAS LEGAL SERVICES CENTER - free legal assistance for people over 60 or those receiving Medicare, Veterans Legal Assistance.
http://www.tlsc.org/

SELF HELP SUPPORT - information for individuals representing themselves (pro se) http://www.selfhelpsupport.org/

DEPT. OF AGING AND DISABILITY SERVICES – advanced directive forms, DNR, power of attorneys.
http://www.dads.state.tx.us/news_info/publications/handbooks/advancedirectives.html

Joanna Wares, Las Vegas Mediation, 6069 South Fort Apache Road, Ste 100, Las Vegas, NV 89148-5579
702 527-4392, 702 475-3701 (fax) www.lasvegasmediation.org


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Businesses Mediations

Mediation can be used in Disputes between Employer and Employee, Employee and Employee, Business and Business, Business and Customer, Business and Vendor.

Mediation can help people to reestablish communications, sort out the problems, and find solutions so the business relationship can remain intact. Businesses Mediations can effectively resolve disputes because an hour or two of mediation is more cost effective than contentious court proceedings.

  This is NOT counseling. A mediator is NOT an attorney and does NOT represent either party.

Mediations can be held at a business or at the office of the mediator for total privacy and to protect the confidentiality of the process. All information is confidential and will not be shared with any other party without permission. Mediators cannot be called to testify in court about anything said in the mediation with the exception of child and/or elder abuse and murder that has not been previously reported. There are also some other special exceptions in federal courts.

    Please call 806-535-1535 for free initial phone consultation or

How to use mediation (in Business)
          From November 18, 2011 ILM Edge ON Line

Bring in the mediation process early before things escalate.

When workplace conflicts first appear, organizations often turn to mediation to find a middle way. Scott Beagrie discovers why more companies are using mediation and even training their own staff to become mediators.

Mediation is still much misunderstood by many managers, occasionally confused with similar practices like conciliation or arbitration. While there might be overlaps with these, mediation is concerned with helping the parties involved find a solution to their problems and is ideally brought in at the earliest stages of a dispute. If mediation is successful, conciliation and arbitration stages should never be reached.

As Acas explains in its guidelines, "the overriding aim of workplace mediation is to restore and maintain the employment relationship wherever possible. This means the focus is on working together to go forward, not determining who was right or wrong in the past." Mediators do not make judgments about the people or issues involved, but instead facilitate a discussion between the two sides by asking questions that get to the root of a problem.

Understand the importance:
Mediation is swiftly moving up the corporate agenda as a way of resolving a breakdown of working relationships and preventing issues and grievances escalating into full-blown disputes. It's proven effective at preventing both personal workplace litigation as well as large-scale industrial disputes, but is equally useful for settling more minor disagreements which could escalate into something more damaging or disruptive.

While specially trained mediators are brought in from external organizations such as Acas, there is also a move to train more managers in mediation skills. John Crawley, founder and chair of workplace dispute specialist, CMP Resolutions, has been campaigning long and hard to get mediation recognized as a core management skill. As well as mitigating the risk of increased industrial-workplace disputes, he reckons it ultimately makes managers and leaders more effective. Try to get people to step away from the blame frame as people love blaming the other side.

John Crawley, founder and chair of workplace dispute specialist, CMP Resolutions
"I know a lot of people that have had that training who have become better managers and their careers have advanced," he explains. "It helps your judgment as you don't make decisions without getting good information first. Impartiality is great too, because if you don't make your mind up about people, you learn a lot more about them." The immediate task for managers is to understand the role of mediation and know when to employ its use.

Know when to use it:
Mediation has considerably less chance of a positive outcome once people's views and attitudes to one another become entrenched. Crawley suggests that while there's far more awareness at policy and management level of the need to "get in and have a conversation sooner rather than later", organizations still leave it too late. While mediation frequently enjoys success (Acas claims around four in five of its mediations are successful), it won't work in every case. Crawley warns that if principles and values are involved it can be difficult because people may already hold set views about the other side. "What often happens is that people get very stuck out of sheer arrogance as they really have no notion at all of where the other side is coming from," he explains.

Keep things impartial:
The mediator will first talk to both parties separately about the situation. He or she will listen to concerns and learn more about the facts surrounding the dispute. Each will be asked questions that will help build a fuller understanding of the situation and to get them to think and discuss what they hope to come away with. A suitable time and place is arranged for the mediation which typically takes place on the organization’s premises. Acas recommends at least two private rooms so each party has one. Either party can break off the mediation at any time and talk to the mediator separately or take a rest from proceedings. Acas guidance underlines that any agreements will not be legally binding unless the parties wish them to be so. In such a case, individuals should be allowed to seek legal advice before agreeing to anything.

Work towards a solution:
The mediator's role is to keep both parties talking and listening to each other. It's about "moving them away from the past to the future and from the problem to the solution," explains Crawley. The mediator will try to get people to step away from the blame frame as people love blaming the other side.

There are still a lot of myths about the role of the mediator. There's a misunderstanding that the mediator must solve the problems for them, but the parties must take ownership of the dispute because this approach will benefit workplace relations and make future disputes easier to resolve.

If you are ready to explore the possibility that mediation could make a big difference for your business please contact Randy Edwards at 806-535-1535 to schedule an appointment at your office or at the Professional Mediation Services office, 5717 66th Street, Suite 115, Lubbock, TX 79424. Every situation is difference and services can be started on a trial basis to determine what is right for your business.

      Please call 806-535-1535 for free initial phone consultation or   

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Civil Lawsuit Mediation

A civil lawsuit can be settled by a mediated agreement thereby avoiding all the emotion and hurt feelings an ugly court battle can generate. Mediation can be one or more meetings with the parties involved and the mediator to discuss the issues involved in ending the dispute in a manner acceptable to both parties. If both parties do not want to discuss the issues face to face, the mediator can meet with each party separately to help them determine the best way to settle the issues. Any information given by any party to the mediator is confidential and will not be shared with any other person without the express consent of the party supplying the information.

The mediator does not tell the parties what to do or offer legal or financial advice, in some cases suggestions to be considered and used only if the people involved want to use them. Each party has the power in mediation to determine how they wish to handle their dispute and come to an agreement with the other party. The mediator or an attorney will write the agreement. Attorneys can be present during the mediation meetings for legal advice or either party may ask for a recess during mediation to talk with an attorney or any other party. Other parties, such as relatives or friends of the parties usually cannot be present in the mediation.

A Good Reason to use Mediation

One large study found that 61 percent of plaintiffs received less in litigation/arbitration than the last offer that they had rejected in mediation. At the same time 24 percent of defendants paid more after litigation/arbitration than for what they could have settled in mediation. While plaintiffs erred more frequently, the defendants who erred in their predictions erred more dramatically, with the cost of their errors greater by a factor of 10 compared to the plaintiff’s errors. Hard lines often served neither the plaintiffs’ nor defendants’ interests (Note: error ratios varied depending on types of cases). See "Let’s Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Study of Decision Making in Unsuccessful Settlement Negotiations," Kiser, Ashen, McShane, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3, 551-591, September 2008

Mediated agreements help save time, expense, and result in a more satisfactory resolution than can be obtained from a court unfamiliar with either party involved in the case. An agreement can reduce required court time if all or most of the issues can be resolved by the parties. 

All information is confidential and will not be shared with any other party without permission. Mediators cannot be called to testify in court about anything said in the mediation with the exception of child and/or elder abuse and murder that has not been previously reported. There are also some other special exceptions in federal courts.

Click on the red button below to download the FREE information and forms you will need to begin mediation. There is no cost or obligation to look over and/or download these forms. The Information Sheet has room to explain what the lawsuit is about. The mediator will not share this information with any other party.

For more information please contact Randy Edwards at 806-535-1535      
                     There is no charge for the initial phone consultation.

PLEASE NOTE: Office address and P.O. Box listed on some forms is no longer in use.

   Please e-mail forms to LubbockMediator@aol.com (Hours by Appointment Only)






 
FREE Information about Civil Lawsuits on line  
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Family issues such as Elder Care or Disabilities

Any changes in family structure involving aging parents, siblings, or relatives can cause turmoil for the whole family and trying to determine the best way to deal with these situations can be a daunting task. Mediation can help the situation because the mediator acts as an impartial guide to help stop the chaos and emotional turmoil. The Mediation Process will guide the parties involved in disputes to come to an understanding of the issues and reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. 

The mediator does not tell the parties what to do or offer legal or financial advice, only possibly some suggestions to be considered and used only if the parties involved want to use them. Each party has the power in mediation to determine how they wish to handle their dispute and come to an agreement with the other parties. The mediator can write an agreement that all the parties can sign and refer to in the future. It is recommended that Attorney(s) and/or CPA(s) be consulted for legal advice and/or financial before any agreement is finalized.

This is NOT counseling. A mediator is NOT an attorney and does NOT represent any of the parties.

For more information please contact Randy Edwards at 806-535-1535    
There is no charge for the initial phone consultation.

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PROFESSIONAL MEDIATION SERVICES, Mediation Services, Lubbock, TX
PROFESSIONAL MEDIATION SERVICES, Mediation Services, Lubbock, TX
View our Divorce Encyclopedia
View our Divorce Encyclopedia