St. Mary's Law Journal
State law concerning mediation is continuing to develop in Texas. The Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (“the Act”), passed in 1987 and codified in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, attempted to resolve Texas judicial opinions on mediation. Since the passage of the Act, a number of judicial opinions have sought to interpret and apply the Act. As such, it became public policy to encourage the peaceable resolution of disputes. Mediation is a method to accomplish that public policy. Both published and unpublished judicial opinions serve to illustrate the application of the Act and provide the only guidance that practitioners, judges, and scholars have in interpreting the Act.
Following the passage of the Act, mediation has been more successful than anticipated despite early mis-steps on enforcement of settlement agreements and opinions on confidentiality. Furthermore, there have been few judicial interpretations, alternations, or challenges to the Act. Despite this judicial neglect, Texas courts have efficaciously interpreted and applied the Act regarding mediation. Texas needs to continue to develop mediation case law or risk being left behind as this area of law develops in other states.
L. Wayne Scott, The Law of Mediation in Texas, 37 St. Mary’s L.J. 325 (2006).