Volume 2 No. 2 | Summer 2016

DRS North Texas sponsors
Settlement Week.

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Settlement Week 2016 
Each year DRS North Texas, as the designated dispute resolution center for Tarrant County, Texas, conducts Settlement Week for all civil and family district courts, as well as all constitutional and statutory county courts within Tarrant County, Texas. The two week event is designated for the expeditious resolution of as many pending cases as possible through mediation. Counsels, parties, and the Courts have the opportunity to submit cases for mediation during Settlement Week2016. This year's Settlement Week will take place from September 26 - October 5, 2016. The deadline to submit cases for inclusion in Settlement Week is August 17, 2016.

DRS North Texas is seeking volunteers to assist in preparing and assembling Settlement Week packets that will be mailed to all attorneys with civil and family cases filed in Tarrant County. If you are able to assist us in this endeavor, please contact our office at (817) 877-4554. 

A number of attorneys currently volunteer as mediators at DRS North Texas and their mediation services will be utilized during Settlement Week. If you are an attorney who has volunteered as a mediator at DRS North Texas in the past, are interested in volunteering for Settlement Week2016, then please contact DRS North Texas for additional information.

Though mediation services are available throughout the year at DRS North Texas, the agency encourages all attorneys with cases filed in Tarrant County to take advantage of the opportunity to submit cases for inclusion in Settlement Week. While securing settlement agreements are the primary goal of the mediation process, Settlement Week mediations also offer the opportunity to:
  1. identify the underlying interest of the parties,
  2. clarify the issues in controversy,
  3. engage in reality testing and checking,
  4. offer the parties and counsel the opportunity to reach agreements regarding specific evidence, discovery items, etc., and 
  5. allow the parties to reach agreements that narrow the issues reserved for trial.
Therefore, even if the parties do not reach a mediated settlement agreement on the day of the Settlement Week mediation, participation in Settlement Week may afford parties and counsel the opportunity, at a very reasonable cost, to lay a strong foundation for reaching a settlement in the future.
 
DRS North Texas looks forward to hosting Settlement Week 2016 and we hope that our volunteers, the Courts, and the legal community encourage and look forward to participation as well. Please stay tuned to our website for additional information regarding Settlement Week2016.

For more, visit drsnorthtexas.org.

Jacquelyn A. Flynt, JD
Executive Director

WHO'S WHO?

Fran Lines
Administrative Assistant
Fran Lines values working at Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc. November of 2016 marks her tenth anniversary as administrative assistant for the organization.
Born and raised in California, Mrs. Lines relocated to Texas nearly 40 years ago.  At the beginning of her career, type writers and mimeographs were the standard office equipment. Mrs. Lines has adapted to the changes in technology, but her class, professionalism, and welcoming heart have remained steady. A great ambassador for DRS North Texas, she compassionately answers daily questions from callers seeking mediation services and warmly greets clients appearing for their mediation appointment.
"As a part of DRS North Texas," she states, "I am able to be part of a ministry to the community. I feel blessed every day to help my colleagues and our clients."
In addition to being one of the first voices or faces of DRS North Texas, Mrs. Lines manages accounts receivables, provides administrative assistance to the executive director, and assists with preparations for special events such as the annual volunteer banquet, Christmas Open House, and Synergy Expo.
Mrs. Lines previously worked as an office manager and executive secretary for a number of respected organizations, arming her with valuable skills that have become indispensable to DRS North Texas. Her strong work ethic, excellent attention to detail, and impeccable organization skills have undeniably furthered the success of the agency, especially during times of transition.
(Left) Newlyweds Fran Lines and Chuck Lines (Right) Fran Lines and Chuck Lines Valentine's Day 2016.
When not working, Fran Lines overseees a food ministry for her church that provides meals for events with 25 to 200 guests. She has been happily married for 49 years to Chuck Lines, further evidence of an overarching sense of dedication and commitment. As she prepares to celebrate her 76th birthday in December, she stresses that she "intends to keep on truck'n".

Edited by Annette Smith
Events
Fall Basic and Family Mediation Training

Dates:
40-Hour Basic
September 22nd - 24th & October 6th - 8th
MCLEs/CEs provided

30-Hour Family
November 4th - 5th & November 18th - 19th
MCLEs/CEs provided
Download Application
Training fees for the 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training have been reduced to $499 through August 19th.  Add to the savings by bundling the 30-Hour Family Mediation Training for $299. Regular cost for Family Training is $325; $550 is the regular cost for Basic Training.

For additional information visit drsnorthtexas.org.
Captured On Camera
Video interviews with various supporters of the mediation process and DRS North Texas clients were recorded in May 2016 by cinematographer Justin Tennison owner of TennisonVisuals. Later this summer segments of the interviews will be available for viewing on DRS North Texas website to promote the use of mediation and the services provided by DRS North Texas. 

THANK YOU! Judge Matthew Hayes, Dallas City Council Member Adam McGough, Dr. Greg Stephens, Fort Worth Attorney Elizabeth Rivera, DRS Board member John Barnes and DRS volunteer Paula for the privilege of capturing your experiences of the mediation process.
#1. To write an agreement, or not to write an agreement? That is the question.
Sometimes parties agree to a settlement that the mediator believes in their opinion to be inequitable. By and large an agreement that parties have come to on their own accord will be to their satisfaction and the terms of the agreement should be written as they have agreed.  In rare instances where there is an obvious violation of mediator ethics, it may be appropriate to discontinue mediating. For additional guidance, click here to view the Ethical Guidelines for Mediators promulgated by the Texas Supreme Court.

Thumbs Up:
Staying aware of our own biases so as not to impose our perceptions on others.

Thumbs Down: Preventing a settlement that parties have reached on their own accord.

Two staff members celebrate birthdays this summer. A special "Happy Birthday" to
Rita Romaguera and Annette Smith

Copyright © 2016 Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc., All rights reserved.


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