Alternative Dispute Resolution in Texas
Experienced Dallas Business & Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Godwin Bowman & Martinez routines utilizes alternative dispute resolution
as another solution to complex litigation. Alternative dispute resolution
is often used in high-profile disputes, divorce actions, and personal
injury claims. Our law firm also provides ADR services in other types
of disputes, including labor and employment, government contracts, intellectual
property, tax, securities, product liability, business fraud, medical
malpractice, antitrust, and bad faith insurance law.
Options to Avoid Litigation
At Godwin Bowman & Martinez, our experienced lawyers can provide alternatives
to those who wish to avoid litigation. These alternatives may include
mediation, mini-trials, moderated settlement conferences, summary jury
trial, and arbitration. With the exception of mediation, these options
can result in useful, but non-binding advisory opinions.
In mediation, a neutral third party impartially facilitates communication
between the opposing parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or
understanding. Mediation is less like a typical trial than is arbitration.
Instead of a presentation of evidence by both sides, the mediator, or
a panel of mediators, work through a solution with both sides of the dispute
and facilitate a settlement. The parties can agree to be bound by these opinions.
Unlike mediation, arbitration is an alternative to litigation in which
an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators listen to the positions of the disputing
parties in a relatively informal proceeding and then issue an award. Many
contracts require the parties to submit their dispute to binding arbitration.
Alternatively, parties to a dispute can agree to use arbitration merely
as a settlement tool.
A mini-trial is a form of alternative dispute resolution that provides
the upper management of each party an opportunity to resolve the dispute
while protecting future business or relationship interests. In a mini-trial,
counsel present their case to a third-party neutral and the top decision-makers
of each party. The decision-makers then meet, either with or without the
third-party neutral advisor, and try to negotiate a settlement. The third-party
neutral may render an opinion that is nonbinding, unless the parties agree
in advance to be bound.
In a moderated settlement conference, both parties and counsel present
their positions to a panel of impartial third parties who then render
an advisory opinion. The appointed panel receives brief presentations
by the parties in order to facilitate settlement negotiations and then
issues a non-binding decision on liability and/or damages. The idea is
that the decision, while not binding on the parties, will help them negotiate
Summary Jury Trials
Summary jury trials are typically managed by the trial judge, who may assign
a magistrate to oversee a shortened version of the full trial. In summary
jury trials, a jury of six people hears a shortened version of the evidence
that will be presented at the full trial. In most cases, testimony from
witnesses is not taken. The jury then renders a nonbinding decision, and
the parties use that decision to further settlement negotiations.
For Alternative Dispute Resolution, Call Godwin Bowman & Martinez
Godwin Bowman & Martinez has significant experience in all areas of
alternative dispute resolution. Our Dallas-based law firm can help clients
avoid or end the expense, time and risk of litigation and appeals. We
successfully advocate for our clients in many alternate dispute resolution
proceedings, and have helped them prepare for, and achieve, favorable
outcomes in such proceedings.
Call Godwin Bowman & Martinez today at (214) 939-4400 to discuss your case.