Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation and Arbitration are Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes in which individuals work through neutral third-parties to reach agree solutions. Facing increasing costs and the uncertainty of taking a case to trial, mediation and arbitration have become favored methods for litigants to resolve their disputes.
The benefits of ADR over litigation are proven and clear. You will:
• Save both time and money.
• Avoid delays, continuances and crowded dockets.
• Provide greater certainty in the result.
• Incorporate mechanisms for resolving future disputes.
• Work to tailor a solution that better fits your individual needs and circumstances.
With over 20 years of legal experience across thousands of cases, Judge Harger brings a unique skill set and perspective to the ADR process. As a former prosecutor, solo practitioner, adjunct law professor and Judge, he offers his clients a direct, no nonsense approach to problem solving.
A successful ADR process is far from easy – it takes not only the hard work and commitment of the mediator and the lawyers involved, but also a desire and willingness to resolve disputes between the parties. The creativity and problem solving skills he has developed through experience, both on and off the bench, set Judge Harger apart from other ADR practitioners.
The Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Chapter 151 provides for “Trial by Special Judge.” This is a procedure where the parties agree, with the trial court’s approval, to hire a qualified private judge to determine all or part their dispute.
Some of the advantages of a Special Judge are:
• Select a Judge with the qualification to hear your case;
• Avoid crowded court dockets, multiple docket calls or standby status;
• Prepare for trial only once, knowing that your case will be heard at the date and time scheduled;
• Expedite the trial through the use of stipulations of facts and exhibits, reducing witnesses;
• Knowing that the pleadings, stipulations and exhibits have been reviewed in advance of trial;
• Multiple prove ups can be scheduled for a single session at counsel’s office; and
• Parking congestion and security delays can be avoided.
If you wish to have your case heard by Judge Harger, the parties to the action must jointly file a motion requesting an ORDER APPROVING REFERRAL TO SPECIAL JUDGE with the court in which the case was filed. This motion must contain the following:
1) request the referral;
2) waive the parties’ right to trial by jury;
3) state the issues to be referred;
4) state the time and place agreed on by the parties for the trial; and
5) state the name of the special judge, the fact that the special judge has agreed to hear the case, and the fee the judge is to receive as agreed upon by the parties.
For the convenience of the parties and their counsel, upon the initial contact to set the time and place for trial, Judge Harger will provide counsel with a JOINT MOTION FOR REFERRAL TO SPECIAL JUDGE together with an ORDER APPROVING REFERRAL TO SPECIAL JUDGE to be presented to the trial court.
Upon entry of the agreed order by the trial court, Judge Harger will provide a letter of instruction with an AGREED SCHEDULING PLAN setting deadlines for the exchange of stipulations, proposed trial exhibits, identification of contested issues and filing of each party’s Motion for Requested Relief. Not less than ten days prior to trial, a telephone conference will be scheduled to discuss any unresolved issues or objections and, if necessary, a pretrial hearing set to hear objections to exhibits and any remaining pretrial matters.
For more information, contact Judge Gary Harger, or you may call on his direct line @ 512.650.5917.