State Office of Administrative Hearings
State Office of Administrative Hearings
 

Mediation

Guidelines for the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
by Texas State Agencies

  1. Introduction to Guidelines for the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution by Texas State Agencies
    1. State Policy
    2. Glossary of Helpful Terms & Processes
    3. Principles for ADR Use by State Agencies
  2. Guidelines and Information for Dispute Resolution Coordinators
  3. Common Areas of ADR Use in the State of Texas
    1. Employee Disputes
    2. Rulemaking
    3. Contracts
    4. Contested Cases
    5. Office of Ombudsman
    6. Binding Arbitrations
  4. Texas Statutes
  5. Best Practices/Ethics
  6. Evaluation/Quality of ADR Programs
  7. ADR Resources, Including ADR Organizations in Texas
  8. Federal Government’s Use of ADR
  9. Other States’ ADR Programs
  10. Other Resources

  11. Attachment A: Texas Dispute Resolution Centers

Guidelines for the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) By Texas State Agencies

  1. Introduction

    Texas government is made up of many diverse agencies with different missions, different challenges, different populations of employees, and different public constituencies.  These Guidelines are intended to assist state agencies in identifying, developing, and implementing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes in appropriate areas of agency operations, thereby enabling the agencies to better fulfill their missions, serve the public's interest, and contribute to good government.

    Each agency may need conflict management systems that are specifically designed to address their unique characteristics.  The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) has not attempted to fashion a "one size fits all" set of guidelines that will suit all agencies' needs because there is no such thing.  An agency must give specific attention to its own objectives, culture, and needs, as well as those of the people whom the agency serves, in designing appropriate conflict management systems.  An agency may want to consider employing the services of someone trained in developing conflict management systems to assist the agency in its review and implementation of ADR processes within its organization.

    Through these Guidelines, SOAH has attempted to provide information that will be of use to an agency that may not have much expertise in the area of ADR.  The Guidelines identify common areas of ADR use within government in Texas, other states, and the federal government.  The Guidelines also reference various web sites which may provide additional assistance or information to you.  SOAH does not maintain any web site other than its own and takes no responsibility for the content of other web sitesIn using information obtained from other web sites, please be aware that Texas law contains broad confidentiality protection for ADR processes, whereas other jurisdictions' confidentiality provisions may vary.

    1. State Policy

      In 1997, the Texas State Legislature declared:

      It is the policy of this state that disputes before governmental bodies be resolved as fairly and expeditiously as possible and that each governmental body support this policy by developing and using alternative dispute resolution procedures in appropriate aspects of the governmental body's operations and program.  Governmental Dispute Resolution Act (GDRA), Ch. 2009, Tex. Gov't Code.

      Beginning in summer 2002, the Sunset Commission has been re-emphasizing this policy by issuing an across-the-board recommendation applicable to many agencies undergoing Sunset Review.  That recommendation directs most of those agencies:

      1. to develop and implement a policy to encourage the use of:
        1. negotiated rulemaking procedures for the adoption of agency rules under Chapter 2008, Tex. Gov't Code, and
        2. appropriate ADR procedures under the GDRA to assist in resolving internal and external disputes under the agency's jurisdiction; and
      2. to conform procedures, to the extent possible, to any model guidelines issued by SOAH for use of ADR by state agencies.

      Some agencies are also required to designate a trained person:

      1. to coordinate the implementation of the policy,
      2. to serve as a resource for any training needed to implement the procedures, and
      3. to collect data concerning the effectiveness of the implemented procedures.

      In addition to rulemaking, the Sunset Commission identified several types of disputes as being particularly well suited to resolution through ADR procedures: internal employee conflicts or grievances, inter-agency conflicts, contract disputes, and actual or potential contested matters.

      The Legislature has given SOAH broad permission to issue model guidelines for the use of ADR by state agencies.  Because SOAH's primary mission is to conduct fair, objective, prompt, and efficient contested case hearings and ADR proceedings, its internal ADR guidelines have focused primarily on ADR processes related to resolving contested cases.

    2. Glossary of Helpful Terms & Processes
      Administrative Procedure Act (APA)
      Tex. Gov't Code, ch. 2001.  The APA sets out minimum standards of uniform practice and procedure for state agencies and provides that contested cases may be resolved by an agreed settlement or consent order.  ADR is one way to reach such a resolution. Tex. Gov't Code § 2001.056.
      Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
      A wide variety of processes, ranging from informal to formal, intended to achieve conflict resolution through agreement of the parties to the conflict.  A third-party neutral usually guides the participants through the process, facilitates effective communication, and helps them explore what is really most important to each participant.  The goal is to develop an agreed resolution that meets the most important needs of each participant.  In this context, ADR may include but is not limited to: mediation, facilitation, negotiated rulemaking, collaborative problem-solving, consensus building, and arbitration.  Participants may customize processes to best suit their needs, but this should be done under the supervision of a third-party neutral to ensure that no participant achieves an advantage through the design of the process.  Common types of ADR processes used in Texas are found in the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act, ch. 154, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code.
      Arbitration

      A form of ADR, governed by an agreement between the parties or special rules or statutes providing for the process, in which a third-party neutral issues a decision after a streamlined and simplified hearing.  Arbitrations may be binding or non-binding.  Because of sovereign immunity issues, state agencies must have legislative authorization in order to engage in binding arbitration.

      In non-binding arbitration, the ruling by the arbitrator is only advisory.  It is intended to provide the parties with a realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions so that the parties may be able to reach an agreed settlement.  One risk of non-binding arbitration is that the party who "wins" the non-binding ruling may become more insistent that any resolution should be heavily weighted in its favor.

      Conciliation
      A facilitated process much like mediation, but with less structure.  For example, it may be done over the telephone.  The process is designed to mend the relationship between the parties and bring about a reconciliation between them.
      Consensus building
      A facilitated process much like mediation, but involving a larger group and multiple issues.  Consensus building typically takes place over a longer period of time than a mediation.  Often, participants sitting "at the table" and participating in the negotiations represent constituencies who are not present, but who must approve a final agreement.
      Governmental Dispute Resolution Act (GDRA)
      Tex. Gov't Code, ch. 2009. This Act encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution processes by governmental entities and sets forth standards for government use of ADR.
      Hybrid processes
      A combination of two or more ADR processes.
      Information exchange
      A process through which governmental entities meet with various parties to give or obtain information or to clarify issues.  This is usually done through meetings with individuals or groups.
      Interest-based negotiation
      In any conflict, a party’s interests are the concerns, private needs, or public policies that cause it to take a certain position in the conflict.  In interest-based negotiation, the parties focus on the interests that lie behind their respective positions and attempt to reach a resolution that meets the interests of all parties.
      Mediation
      A confidential, informal dispute resolution process in which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between or among the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or understanding among them.
      Negotiated rulemaking
      A consensus-based process in which an agency develops a proposed rule by using a neutral facilitator and a balanced negotiating committee composed of representatives of all interests that the rule will affect, including those interests represented by the rulemaking agency itself.  (Definition from Texas Negotiated Rulemaking Deskbook, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, The University of Texas School of Law, October 1996.)
      Negotiated Rulemaking Act
      Tex. Gov’t Code, ch. 2008.  This Act authorizes state agencies to use a negotiated rulemaking process in carrying out their rulemaking functions.
      Policy dialogue
      A consensus process in which the parties attempt to develop a proposal that meets the interests of the group.  Although the group defines for itself what consensus means, it most commonly refers to the willingness of the parties to live with the agreement of the group.
      TADR Act
      Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, ch. 154.
      Third-party neutral, impartial third party
      An individual trained to conduct ADR processes who has no personal interest or stake in the outcome of the dispute.  Minimum requirements include a 40-hour basic mediation training course.  (Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, ch. 2009, Tex. Gov’t Code)
    3. Principles for ADR Use by State Agencies
    4. State agencies should apply certain principles in designing and implementing agency ADR programs:

      1. Any resolution reached as a result of the ADR procedure should be through the voluntary agreement of the parties.
      2. ADR procedures must be consistent with the GDRA, Tex. Gov't Code, ch. 2009 (GDRA); Tex. Civil Prac. & Rem. Code, ch. 154 (TADR Act); and the Administrative Procedures Act, Tex. Gov't Code, ch. 2001 (the APA).
      3. ADR procedures are intended to supplement and not limit other dispute resolution procedures available for use by a governmental body.  GDRA § 2009.052(a),
      4. ADR processes may not be applied in a manner that denies a person a right granted under state or federal law or under a local charter, ordinance, or other similar provision, including a right to an administrative or judicial hearing.  GDRA, § 2009-052(b).
      5. It is strongly recommended that an employee who administers ADR processes established by state agencies should have completed the minimum training standards set forth in § 154.052 of the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code.

        That employee should:

        • maintain necessary agency records while maintaining the confidentiality of participants,
        • establish a method of choosing third-party neutrals who possess the minimum qualifications described in TADR Act § 154.052,
        • require third-party neutrals to adhere to a particular standard of conduct or code of ethics,
        • provide information about available ADR processes to agency employees, potential users, and users of the program,
        • arrange training or education necessary to implement adopted ADR processes, and
        • establish a system to evaluate the program and the third-party neutrals.
      6. A governmental body may appoint a governmental officer or employee or a private individual as an impartial third-party in an ADR procedure.  GDRA § 2009.053.
      7. Impartial third-parties:
        • must be qualified as required by the TADR Act § 154.052, but are not subject to any specific credentialing requirement in the State of Texas,
        • are subject to the standards and duties described in the TADR Act § 154.053,
        • have the qualified immunity described in the TADR Act § 154.055,
        • must maintain confidentiality as described in the TADR Act § 154.073 and GDRA § 2009.054; and
        • may not be required to testify in proceedings relating to or arising out of the matter in dispute.  GDRA § 2009.054(d).
      8. The parties have the right to object to the person appointed to serve as the third-party neutral.  The participants must trust the neutrality and impartiality of this person to enable the process to succeed.  GDRA § 2009.053.
      9. Agencies may require participation in mediation but may not require that the participants reach an agreement.  No one may dictate the terms of the agreement reached by the participants as long as the resolution is legal and complies with any rules set up for the process.
      10. Oral and written communications between the parties, and between the parties and mediator, related to the ADR process are confidential and may not be disclosed unless all the parties consent to the disclosure.  This also includes any description of the conduct and demeanor of participants.  GDRA § 2009.054; TADR Act §§ 154.053, 154.073.
      11. A final written agreement to which a governmental body is a signatory is subject to required disclosure, is excepted from disclosure, or is confidential, as provided by the TADR Act § 154.073 and other laws, including the Public Information Act, Tex.  Gov't Code, ch. 552; GDRA § 2009.054(d).
      12. An impartial third-party may not be required to testify in any proceeding relating to or arising out of the matter in dispute.  GDRA § 2009.054(d)

  2. Guidelines and Information for Dispute Resolution Coordinators

    An extremely valuable source of information specifically developed for dispute resolution coordinators can be found at the web site of the Policy Consensus Initiative:

    www.policyconsensus.org external web site

    Some topics include:

    • What is a Dispute Resolution Coordinator?
    • Choosing DR Coordinators and Identifying Their Roles
    • Orientation and Training for DR Coordinators
    • Overview of Agencies' Use of ADR Processes
    • Key Elements in Integrating DR in an Agency
    • Some Basic Steps to Initiating ADR in an Agency
    • Resources

    See also: www.usdoj.gov/adr/manual external web site for information that may assist a dispute resolution coordinator in identifying an agency's ADR needs and designing effective ADR programs.


  3. Common Areas of ADR Use in the State of Texas
    1. Employee Disputes

      Government and private business have increasingly found ADR processes to be helpful in addressing employee complaints and grievances.  The use of mediation and ombudsmen (and, in the private sector, arbitration) are the most common processes used in this area.

      • Texas Intergovernmental Shared Neutrals Program

        The Texas Intergovernmental Shared Neutrals Program (TISNP) is a pilot project that provides mediators, through a shared mediator pool, to participating state and local governmental entities for the mediation of employment disputes.  The entities currently participating include the Texas Department of Public Safety, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, the City of Austin, the Austin Independent School District, and the University of Texas.

        SOAH coordinated the implementation of TISNP, which began operation in January, 2001.  By sharing employees to serve as third-party neutrals, the agencies in the pool are able to receive mediator services when needed, in exchange for agreeing to provide mediators when needed by other agencies.  This arrangement results in the provision of mediations at little or no cost to the requesting agency.  Additionally, the involvement of external mediators, most often as a co-mediator with an internal mediator, provides employees with increased confidence in the mediators' neutrality and the confidentiality of the process.

        Information about the Texas Intergovernmental Shared Neutrals Program (TISNP) project including a mission statement, statement of principles, mediation overview, and mediator standards of conduct is available on SOAH's web site.

      • Examples of Agencies with mediation programs for employee disputes:
      • Ombudsman (see Paragraph E: Office of Ombudsman)
      • Resources
        • Using Mediation in Employee Complaints and Grievances: A Source Book for Governmental Entities, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, The University of Texas School of Law (2000).
    2. Rulemaking

      Most state agencies have rulemaking authority.  Generally, an agency exercises its rulemaking authority through traditional rulemaking under the APA or negotiated rulemaking under the Texas Negotiated Rulemaking Act.  Additionally, a state agency may use policy dialogues that lead to agency rulemaking.

      In traditional rulemaking, an agency, through its staff, may draft a rule and publish it for public comment in the Texas Register, in accordance with the provisions of the Texas APA.  The public, including those who will be affected by the rule if the agency adopts it, is allowed to make comments to the agency on whether, and how, the rule should or should not be adopted as proposed.  The agency then considers these public comments and decides whether to make modifications or amendments to the rule, whether to adopt the rule as it was proposed, or whether to take no action on the rule.  In traditional rulemaking, public input comes after the rule has been drafted.

      In negotiated rulemaking, the agency convenes a working group comprised of stakeholder representatives, i.e., those to be affected by the rule, including representatives of the agency.  This working group, through principled, interest-based negotiation, develops a draft rule that is presented to the agency’s decision-makers for proposed adoption.  The agency will publish the proposed rule in the Texas Register, and the process for adoption continues as in a traditional APA rulemaking.  The difference between traditional rulemaking and negotiated rulemaking is that in negotiated rulemaking, the agency agrees to involve the stakeholders “up front” in preparing the rule, which it then publishes in the Texas Register as a proposed rule.  In traditional rulemaking, formal stakeholder input is sought “after” the rule is drafted, during the public comment period.

      A process known as a “policy dialogue leading to agency rulemaking" is similar to negotiated rulemaking but lacks the formality of negotiated rulemaking.  Additionally, the agency does not commit in advance to proposing the rule for adoption, but merely agrees to consider doing so.

      • Agencies that have used negotiated rulemaking:
        • Department of Agriculture
        • Department of Human Services
        • Office of the Attorney General
        • Office of the Comptroller
        • Office of the Governor
        • Public Utility Commission
        • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
        • Texas General Land Office
        • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
      • Agency that has used policy dialogues:
        • Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Resources
      • Resources
        • Texas Negotiated Rulemaking Act, Chapter 2008, Tex. Gov't Code
        • Texas Negotiated Rulemaking Deskbook, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, The University of Texas School of Law (1996).
    3. Contracts

      The State of Texas has adopted a policy and process encouraging the use of negotiation and mediation to resolve contract claims against the state.

      SOAH drafted model rules for the negotiation and mediation of contract claims against state entities under Chapter 2260, Tex. Gov’t Code, in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General and an interagency working group.  This interagency working group was facilitated by the UT Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution.  The model rules, or guidelines, are available on the Office of the Attorney General’s web site PDF external web site.  Agencies with rulemaking authority could adopt these model rules as posted or modify them to better suit an agency’s particular circumstances.

      • Resources:
        • Resolution of Certain Contract Claims Against the State, Chapter 2260, Tex. Gov't Code.
        • Office of the Attorney General, Rules, Negotiation and Mediation of Certain Contract Disputes, 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 68.
    4. Contested Cases

      SOAH has used ADR processes, primarily mediation, in its contested case hearing process since 1995.  Although mediation is the form of ADR most frequently used at SOAH, other variations of assisted negotiation are available: mini-trials, early neutral case evaluation by an impartial third party, and fact-finding by an expert.

      Mediation may be used in disputes that already are “contested cases,” may become contested cases, or may never become contested cases.  Often, the most effective time to resolve a dispute is early in the dispute, before positions have hardened and the parties have become invested in their own points of view.  However, many disputes are not mediated until after a contested case has been initiated.

      • Examples of agencies that have in-house mediation programs for contested cases:

      • Mediations at SOAH

        SOAH Procedural Rule 155.351, (found at 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 155.351), sets forth the procedures Administrative Law Judges and parties follow in requesting and referring disputes to mediation.  SOAH is also authorized to conduct mediations in disputes involving governmental entities even if the dispute is not a contested case at SOAH.  Further information about mediation at SOAH may be found on this web site under “Mediation”

        How do parties and judges decide whether a case is appropriate for mediation and whether the parties are ready to mediate? The following list of factors may be helpful in considering that decision.  Parties must think carefully about each factor.  The significance of a particular “yes” or “no” answer will vary from case to case.

      • Factors to Consider in Deciding Whether to Try Mediation
        1. Is the issue appropriate for mediation?
          1. What evidence will each party need to prove its case? If the case is heavily fact-based:
            • Are the facts objectively knowable?
            • How definitive is the proof expected to be?
            • How heavily does the case depend on the credibility of witnesses?
          2. Is the controlling law clear? Are required standards of conduct clear?
          3. Is an agency litigating the case for a policy reason?
          4. Is either party looking for a precedent?
          5. Is a party looking for something that cannot be obtained by an order from an ALJ or the agency but that may be achievable by agreement?
          6. How wide is the range of possible resolutions of the dispute? For example, in an enforcement case, if there was a violation, does the agency have discretion to impose a range of sanctions?
          7. Are there options that may meet all interests but that the ALJ cannot order?
          8. Do the parties have an ongoing relationship? Will resolution of the dispute likely require voluntary cooperation between the parties? Will use of mediation have a favorable effect on the parties' future relationship?
          9. Is the potential result of litigation sufficient to justify the resources litigation will require?
          10. If a complete settlement is not likely, would mediation nonetheless be helpful? For example, might mediation be used to narrow the issues? Streamline discovery?
          11. How much time and how many resources will a mediation take? A contested case hearing?
          12. Are there reasons, other than economic considerations, why the agency might wish to consider mediation? For example, increased compliance? Greater "buy-in" from the regulated community?
        2. Are the parties ready to mediate?
          1. How knowledgeable are the parties about the issues in dispute? The strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases?
          2. Does each party understand how the other party perceives the facts? How the other party interprets the facts?
          3. Do any legal issues need to be decided before the parties can meaningfully evaluate the merits of their respective cases?
          4. Have the parties engaged in settlement discussions? How hard have they tried (number of meetings, etc., not details of efforts)? Why didn’t the matter settle?
          5. Have the parties considered the consequences of losing the case?
          6. Do the parties have communication problems? Have they stopped hearing each other? Quit saying anything new?
          7. Do they trust each other to negotiate in good faith?
          8. Do the persons who would represent the parties in the mediation have sufficient authority to enter into a settlement agreement?
          9. What is the power balance between the parties?
          10. Has necessary discovery been completed? Or can it be avoided?
          11. Are there deadlines coming up that could be avoided by settlement?
          12. Can all necessary parties be brought to the negotiating table?
          13. Are there interested persons or stakeholders who might play a role in a mediation but who would not have standing to participate in a contested case?

        For another list of factors to be used in assessing whether a collaborative process might be an appropriate mechanism for resolving a controversy, see Oregon's "Assessment for Use of Collaborative DR Processes" external web site.

    5. Office of Ombudsman

      The use of an ombudsman has become increasingly common in the state of Texas.  Ombudsmen perform a variety of functions.  Some ombudsmen receive and investigate complaints, act as an information resource, provide impartial guidance and assistance, and act as non-legal advocates.  For a helpful introduction to the roles of ombudsmen in the state, see:

    6. See also:

    7. Binding Arbitrations

      Although binding arbitration is an ADR process, it is specifically excluded as an option for agencies under the GDRA § 2009.005(c) due to sovereign immunity concerns.  The Legislature may, and sometimes does, authorize binding arbitration for a specific program.  It provided an election for binding arbitration in nursing home enforcement actions brought by the State under Tex. Health and Safety Code, ch. 242.  Either the nursing home facility or the State can elect to engage in arbitration at SOAH rather than go through a more lengthy contested case or judicial litigation process.

      Binding arbitration shortens the decision-making process, but the ultimate decision is taken away from the disputants.  The Participants no longer have the power to decide whether and how to resolve a dispute.


  4. Texas Statutes

    The following statutes specifically address the use of ADR in the State.  There are also numerous state statues that reference ADR use in specific agency functions that are not listed here.

    • Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act, Chapter 154, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code
    • Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, Chapter 2009, Tex. Gov't Code
    • Texas Negotiated Rulemaking Act, Chapter 2008, Tex. Gov't Code
    • Resolution of Certain Contract Claims Against the State, Chapter 2260, Tex. Gov't Code

    Resources

    • Commentary on the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act, Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, The University of Texas School of Law (1998).

  5. Best Practices/Ethics

    Anyone who is interested in designing or implementing an ADR process for government is encouraged to refer to and use the available ADR Best Practices and Ethical Guidelines.


  6. Evaluation/Quality of ADR Programs

    An important component of any ADR system is the ability to evaluate its effectiveness and its quality.


  7. ADR Resources, Including ADR Organizations in Texas

    State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Section: www.texasadr.org external web site (Contains links to numerous other web sites).

    Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution: www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/cppdr external web site

    Texas Association of Mediators: www.txmediator.org external web site

    The Association of Attorney-Mediators: www.attorney-mediators.org external web site

    The Ombudsman Association: www.ombuds-toa.org external web site

    A. A. White Dispute Resolution Institute : www.law.uh.edu/blakely/aawhite/ external web site


  8. Federal Government’s Use of ADR

    The federal government has used ADR extensively in a number of areas.  For information about specific programs, please refer to the web site for the federal agency.

    • United States Office of Personnel Management
      Alternative Dispute Resolution - A Resource Guide

      www.opm.gov/er/adrguide_2002 external web site
      The Guide provides an overall picture of how the most common forms of ADR are being implemented in federal agencies.  It summarizes a number of current ADR programs (including alternative discipline programs), and it includes descriptions of shared neutrals programs where agencies have collaborated to reduce the costs of ADR.  It provides a listing of training and resources available from federal and non-federal sources.  It also provides selected ADR-related web sites.
    • U.S. Department of Justice Office of Dispute Resolution
      www.usdoj.gov/odr/ external web site
      The Office of Dispute Resolution coordinates the use of ADR for the Department of Justice.  The office is responsible for ADR policy matters, ADR training, assisting lawyers in selecting the right cases for dispute resolution, and finding appropriate neutrals to serve as mediators, arbitrators, and neutral evaluators.  The office also coordinates the interagency ADR Working Group, an organization that promotes the use of ADR throughout federal executive branch agencies.
    • Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group
      www.usdoj.gov/adr/ external web site
      This web site contains resources to assist federal agencies in developing ADR programs and numerous other resources including: law review articles on federal ADR programs, federal agency ADR surveys, confidentiality comments, and a link to the federal ADR program Manager’s Resource Manual.
    • Federal ADR Program Manager’s Resource Manual
      www.usdoj.gov/adr/manual/ external web site
      This manual on ADR program design is intended to provide guidance to agency designers as they undertake to identify their agency’s ADR needs and to design effective ADR programs.  It includes a checklist of issues for agency designers to consider as they develop their ADR programs.
    • Department of the Navy ADR Program
      http://adr.navy.mil external web site
      This web site contains an introduction to ADR, an ADR awareness test, the principles of conflict resolution, the Naval policy history of ADR, and how to make ADR work for you.
    • Recommended Federal ADR Links / Sites
      adrr.com/adr0/index-8.htm external web site
      This web site contains links to 23 federal agency ADR programs and other ADR resources.
    • Environmental Protection Agency Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center
      www.epa.gov/adr external web site
      This web site contains information about the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of alternative dispute resolution.

  9. Other States’ ADR Programs

    When considering whether an ADR program is appropriate in a specific area, information about other states that have implemented ADR programs may be of assistance to you.  Some resources include:

    • Policy Consensus Initiative
      www.policyconsensus.org external web site
      The Policy Consensus Initiative is a national nonprofit program working with leaders at the state level -- governors, legislators, attorneys general, state agencies, and others – to establish and strengthen the use of collaborative practices in states to bring about more effective governance.  This site provides a Directory of State Resolution Programs as well as other ADR information.
    • Florida State Courts - Alternative Dispute Resolution
      www.flcourts.org/gen_public/adr/index.shtml external web site
      This web site contains information about court-annexed ADR programs and ADR programs established by the Florida Department of Insurance, the Division of Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Workers Compensation Division of the Department of Labor and Employment Security, and others.
    • Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium
      consensus.fsu.edu/ external web site
      The Consortium promotes the use of consensus building and ADR processes in addressing Florida’s public policy matters.
    • Maine Court System - Alternative Dispute Resolution
      www.courts.state.me.us/court_info/services/adr external web site
      The Office of Court ADR oversees and maintains seven statewide ADR rosters of individuals who are eligible to provide ADR services to parties in court cases.  The following issues are examples of ADR issues addressed by the Maine court system: domestic relations matters; small claims; larger civil and commercial cases; and land use and environmental disputes.
    • Maine Association of Mediators
      www.mainemediators.org/adr/what-is-adr external web site
      This web site provides information about training, educational development, and standards of professional conduct for third-party neutrals in Maine.
    • State of Massachusetts - Office of Dispute Resolution
      omega.cc.umb.edu/~resolution external web site
      The Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution helps state agencies and municipalities develop integrated conflict management systems that improve their ability to deal with conflict.
    • State of Oregon (Dispute Resolution Commission)
      www.odrc.state.or.us external web site
      This site provides information on Commission policies, programs and activities, and serves as a clearinghouse for information relating to collaborative dispute resolution in Oregon.
    • State of Oregon Department of Justice
      www.doj.state.or.us/adr/index.shtml external web site
      This site contains the Oregon ADR Model Rules for collaborative dispute resolution in many areas of agency practice.

  10. Other Resources
    • American Arbitration Association (AAA)
      www.adr.org external web site
      The AAA web site provides information about mediation, arbitration, fact-finding, partnering, dispute review boards, and other related alternative dispute resolution processes.
    • Center for Public Resources (CPR)
      www.cpradr.org external web site
      This web site provides up-to-date information about ADR practicesin the legal and corporate settings.
    • Better Business Bureau Dispute Resolution Services
      www.dr.bbb.org external web site
    • Carter Center: The President Carter Center for Conflict Resolution at Emory University
      www.cartercenter.org external web site
    • Conflict Research Consortium
      conflict.colorado.edu external web site
    • Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation
      www.pon.harvard.edu external web site
    • Journal of Dispute Resolution - Univ. of Missouri at Columbia School of Law & the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution
      www.law.missouri.edu/csdr/ external web site
    • Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
      moritzlaw.osu.edu/dr/ external web site
    • U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
      www.ecr.gov external web site

  11. Attachment A:
    Texas Dispute Resolution Centers

    Amarillo (Potter and Randall Counties)
    Dispute Resolution Center
    P.O. Box 9257
    Amarillo, TX 79105-9257
    Phone: (806) 372-3381
    Fax: (806) 373-3268
    Email: pcoffey@prpc.cog.tx.us
    Web site: www.prpc.cog.tx.us external web site
    Pam Coffey, Program Director

    Austin (Travis County)
    Dispute Resolution Center
    5407 N. IH 35, Suite 410
    Austin, TX 78723
    Phone: (512) 371-0033
    Fax: (512) 371-7411
    Email: kris@austindrc.org
    Web site: http://www.austindrc.org external web site
    Kris Donley, Executive Director

    Beaumont (Jefferson County)
    Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County
    Courthouse Annex 1
    215 Franklin Suite, 131A
    Beaumont, TX 77701
    Phone: (409) 835-8747
    Fax: (409) 784-5811
    Email: mediation@co.jefferson.tx.us
    Web site: www.co.jefferson.tx.us/med_cntr/med.htm external web site
    position Vacant, Executive Director

    Bryan/College Station (Brazos County)
    Dispute Resolution Center
    3211 S. Texas Ave., Ste. A
    Bryan, TX 77802
    Phone: (979) 822-6947
    Fax: (979) 779-6528
    Email: drc@bvcog.org
    Web site: www.disputeresolutionbv.org external web site
    Howard Bleekman, Executive Director

    Conroe (Montgomery County)
    Dispute Resolution Center
    P.O. Box 3609
    Conroe, TX 77305-3609
    Phone: (936) 760-6914
    Fax: (936) 538-8050
    Email: dharper@co.montgomery.tx.us
    Dayna L. Harper, Executive, Director

    Corpus Christi (Nueces, San Patricio, Live Oak and Bee Counties)
    Dispute Resolution Services
    901 Leopard, Ste. 401.2
    Corpus Christi, TX 78401
    Phone: (361) 888-0650
    Fax: (361) 888-0754
    Email: ruth.reid@co.nueces.tx.us
    Web site:www.co.nueces.tx.us/dispute
    Ruth Reid, Executive Director

    Dallas (Dallas County)
    Dispute Mediation Service, Inc.
    4144 North Central Expressway, St. 1010
    Dallas, TX 75204
    Phone: (214) 754-0022
    Fax: (214) 754-0378
    Email: lagilbert@dms-adr.org
    Web site: http://www.dms-adr.org external web site
    Lacrisia "Cris" Gilbert, Chief Executive Director

    Denton (Denton County)
    Dispute Resolution System of Denton County
    512 W. Hickory, Ste. 202
    Denton, TX 76201
    Phone: (940) 320-1500
    Fax: (940) 320-1502
    Email: mhouston@dentonbar.com
    dwest@dentonbar.com
    nazzami@dentonbar.com
    Web site: www.dentonbar.com external web site
    Web site: www.dentonadr.com external web site
    Michelle Houston, Executive Director

    El Paso (El Paso County)
    Dispute Resolution Center
    1100 N. Stanton, Suite 610
    El Paso, TX 79902
    Phone: (915) 533-0998
    Fax: (915) 532-9385
    Email: marisaq@riocog.org
    Web site: www.riocog.org external web site
    Marisa Quintanilla, Executive Director

    Fort Worth (Tarrant and Parker Counties)
    Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas
    4304 Airport Frwy, Ste. 100
    Fort Worth, TX 76117
    Phone: (817) 877-4554
    Fax: (817) 877-4557
    Email: j@drsnorthtexas.org
    Web site: www.drsnorthtexas.org external web site
    Abby Mitchell, Director

    Houston (Harris County)
    Harris County Dispute Resolution Center
    49 San Jacinto, Suite 220
    Houston, TX 77002-1233
    Phone: (713) 755-8274
    Fax: (713) 755-8885
    Email: nick@drchouston.org
    Web site: www.drchouston.org external web site
    Nicholas Hall, Executive Director

    Kerrville - (Bandera, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Mason, Menard, and McCulloch Counties)
    Hill Country Dispute Resolution Center
    327 Earl Garrett, Ste.
    108 Kerrville, Texas 78028-4500
    Phone: (830) 792-5000
    Fax: (830) 792-6220
    Email: hcadrc@ktc.com
    Web site: www.hillcountrydrc.org external web site
    Ed Reaves, Executive Director

    Lubbock (Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Garza, Hockley, Howard, Lamb, Lubbock, Terry and Yoakum Counties)
    Office of Dispute Resolution
    P.O. Box 10536
    Lubbock, TX 79408-3536
    Phone: (806) 775-1720
    Toll Free: (866) 329-3522
    Fax: (806) 775-7929
    Email: drc@co.lubbock.tx.us
    Phone: (806) 775-1720
    Web site: www.co.lubbock.tx.us external web site
    D. Gene Valentini, Executive Director

    Paris (Lamar, Fannin, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins and Red River Counties)
    Dispute Resolution Services
    Paris Junior College
    2400 Clarksville
    Paris, TX 75460-6298
    Phone: (903) 783-9839
    Fax: (903) 782-0443
    Email: clucas@paris.jc.edu
    Carl E. Lucas, Director

    Richmond (Fort Bend County)
    Fort Bend County Dispute Resolution Center
    211 Houston Street
    Richmond, TX 77469
    Phone: (281) 342-5000
    Fax: (281) 232-6443; Houston Metro Fax: (888) 303-6443
    Email: fbdrc@sbcglobal.net
    Shelly Hudson, Executive Director

    San Antonio (Bexar County)
    Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center
    Cadena-Reeves Justice Center
    300 Dolorosa, Suite 1.102
    San Antonio, TX 78205-3009
    Phone: (210) 335-2128
    Fax: (210) 335-2941
    Email: bcdrc@bexar.org
    Web site: www.bexar.org/drc external web site
    Marlene Labenz-Hough, Director

    Waco (McLennan County)
    McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center
    P.O. Box 1488
    Waco, TX 76703-1488
    Phone: (254) 752-0955
    Fax: (254) 752-0966
    Email: drcwaco@hot.rr.com
    Web site: http://disputeresolutioncenterwaco.org external web site
    Michael Kopp, Executive Director

    (List of Texas Dispute Resolution Centers provided by the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, The University of Texas School of Law)


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