The primary dispute resolution service available through the DRC is mediation. Mediation is a process in which two or more people involved in a dispute meet at the DRC in a private, confidential setting, and with the help of a neutral person (mediator) work out their own solution to the dispute. Mediators do not make judgments, express opinions or give legal advice. Instead, they facilitate communication so the parties can find a solution of their own. A wide variety of cases can be successfully resolved through mediation such as neighborhood issues, family and friends (including pre- and post-divorce), real estate, landlord/tenant, consumer/merchant, employer/employee, business and small claims, and parent/adolescent.
Civil Litigation Mediation (CLM)
CLMs are offered for those cases that have already entered the litigation process. Cases must be deemed appropriate for mediation and each client may be represented by an attorney. These mediations are a half-day and utilize an attorney-mediator who is skilled in the use of shuttle caucus and joint session modalities.
Juvenile Court Victim/Offender Mediation
The DRC, in a cooperative effort with the Travis County Juvenile Court, provides and coordinates volunteer mediators to perform mediations on-site at the Juvenile Court. These sessions make it possible for alleged juvenile offenders and their victims to meet face-to-face to discuss the impact of the offense and to arrange for restitution or another solution agreeable to both parties.
Juvenile Court Prerelease/Parent-Child Mediation
The DRC, in partnership with Travis County and Williamson County Juvenile Courts, provides volunteer mediators to perform mediations on-site at the Gardner-Betts Juvenile Detention Center. These mediations ordered by the courts give the teen and the parents an opportunity to discuss what they each will do once the teen returns to the home. The judge’s goal is for teens and parents to reach a family agreement before the teen is released.