Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation is a confidential form of Alternative Dispute Resolution that offers parties an opportunity to resolve their disputes without having an administrative hearing. The State Office of Administrative Hearings has approximately 30 trained administrative law judge mediators with a wide variety of backgrounds.
Parties considering mediation or involved in a dispute that has been referred to mediation are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the State Office of Administrative Hearings’ procedural rule concerning mediation, 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.351.
The State Office of Administrative Hearings also provides the following services:
- Conducts binding arbitrations in certain nursing home or assisted living enforcement cases.
- Conducts contract claim proceedings prescribed by Government Code Chapter 2260.
- Manages assignments of mediators and qualified special judges to conduct dispute resolution proceedings prescribed by Insurance Code Chapter 1467 for certain consumer health benefit disputes.
- Facilitates negotiated rulemaking for state and contracting agencies and their stakeholders.
In mediation an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between the parties and helps them explore settlement options. Mediation is a collaborative process. The parties control whether the dispute is resolved.
If the parties to a contested case try mediation, but mediation is not successful, they still have the right to an administrative hearing presided over by an administrative law judge who was not the mediator.
Please reference the Guide to Mediation at SOAH for additional information about the mediation process. For guidelines on the Alternative Dispute Resolution process, please reference the Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy with Guidelines for State Agencies.
Providing Mediation Materials to the Mediator
Pre-mediation statements and all other mediation materials should be sent by email directly to the assigned mediator. If the materials cannot be sent by email, the party should consult with the assigned mediator on an alternate method of sharing the materials. Under no circumstances should a party file pre-mediation materials or send them to the presiding judge. All mediation materials submitted to the State Office of Administrative Hearings should be clearly marked as “CONFIDENTIAL MEDIATION INFORMATION.”
Please contact the State Office of Administrative Hearings Austin office if you have any additional mediation questions.