Tag Archives: Contract Mediation in Houston TX

Delivering an Effective Opening at Contract Mediation in Houston TX

After the mediator explains his or her role as a neutral facilitator, the confidentiality of the process and the ground rules for contract mediation in Houston Texas, each party is then given the opportunity to provide an opening statement.  This statement demonstrates the different perspectives that each party has and the interdependence that the parties have on each other to successfully conclude contract mediation in Houston Texas.  An effective opening statement sets the tone for negotiation.

The opening statement advocates for the client’s position and interests.  It explains his or her point of view regarding the legal issues in the case.  If the parties spend most of their time in private caucus, the opening statement can emphasize the client’s point of view and deliver a message that will resonate throughout mediation.

One effective way to deliver a message is to have empathy for the other side.  When a party blames the other, is argumentative or otherwise seems unreasonable, the opening statement may only serve to further polarize the parties.  However, if the party is able to express positive things about the other party and truly empathize with his or her plight, the opening statement is more likely to set a positive tone for mediation.

 While litigation involves an adversarial process, mediation is supported by a cooperative spirit between the parties.  An effective opening statement can discern a party’s inherent need to defend themselves and replace an adversarial feeling with mutual respect.

Five Stages to Contract Mediation in Houston TX

While every contract mediation in Houston TX is unique in its own right, the following five stages occur in most sessions of contract mediation in Houston TX:

Ground Rules

The mediator lays out the ground rules for the mediation process at the beginning of the meeting.  These rules often include showing respect to one another and not interrupting each other.  The mediator also explains his or her role as a neutral facilitator and the confidential nature of the process.

Understanding the Conflict

The mediator meets with the parties one-on-one or together to try to understand the nature of the conflict and the underlying reasons for why it occurred, such as one party believing the other has not fulfilled the terms of the contract.

Narrowing the Issues

The mediator then determines what the parties agree on and what they do not.  The mediator may summarize the main points of agreement and contention to ensure that he or she is on the right track.

Considering Options

The mediator will then flesh out possible options on how different issues can be resolved.  The parties may be encouraged to brainstorm ideas and be instructed not to dismiss anything right away.  The mediator may give the parties evaluation criteria to weigh whether particular options will likely serve their individual and mutual interests.


The mediator has the attorneys for the parties draw up the agreement that the parties have made and has all parties sign it.