CHAD R. SEABOLD, M.D., D.D.S, Appellant
PHILLIP T. IERO, M.D., D.D.S. AND PHILLIP T. IERO, M.D., D.D.S., P.A. NB, Appellees
On Appeal from the 125th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 2010-76846.
We have determined that this case is appropriate for referral to mediation, an alternative dispute resolution process. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 154.021—.073. Mediation is a forum in which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation or settlement. Id.§ 154.023(a). Any communication relating to the subject matter of the appeal made by a participant in the mediation proceeding is confidential. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 154.053. After mediation, the parties shall advise the court whether the case settled, or whether any further negotiation efforts are planned.
The court ORDERS the appeal ABATED for a period of sixty days and refers the underlying dispute to mediation. Any party may file a written objection to this order with the clerk of this court within 10 days of the date of this order. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 154.022. If this court finds that there is a reasonable basis for the objection, the objection shall be sustained and the appeal reinstated on this court's active docket. See id.
The court ORDERS that the mediation be held within 60 days of the date of this order. The court ORDERS that all parties or their representatives with full settlement authority shall attend the mediation process, with their counsel of record. The court FURTHER ORDERS that within 48 hours of completion of the mediation, the parties shall advise the court in writing whether the case settled.
If mediation fully resolves the issues in the case, the court ORDERS the parties to file a motion to dismiss the appeal, other dispositive motion, or a motion for additional time to file the dispositive motion, within 10 days of the conclusion of the mediation.
The court ORDERS the appellate timetable in this case suspended for 60 days from the date of this order.
The appeal is ABATED, treated as a closed case, and removed from this court's active docket for a period of sixty days. The appeal will be reinstated on this court's active docket after sixty days. Any party may file a motion stating grounds for reinstating the appeal before the end of the sixty-day period. Any party may also file a motion to dismiss the appeal or other dispositive motion at any time. Any party may file a motion to extend the abatement period for completion of mediation or to finalize a settlement.
RULES FOR MEDIATION
i. Definition of Mediation. Mediation is a process under which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement or understanding among them. The mediator may suggest ways of resolving the disputes, but may not impose his own judgment on the issues for that of the parties. ii. Agreement of Parties. Whenever the parties have agreed to mediation they shall be deemed to have made these rules, as amended and in effect as of the date of the submission of the dispute, a part of their agreement to mediate.
iii. Consent to Mediator. The parties consent to the appointment of the individual named as mediator in their case. The Mediator shall act as an advocate for resolution and shall use his best efforts to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement.
iv. Conditions Precedent to Serving As Mediator. The mediator shall not serve as a mediator in any dispute in which he has any financial or personal interest in the result of the mediation. Prior to accepting an appointment, the Mediator shall disclose any circumstances likely to create a presumption of bias or prevent a prompt meeting with the parties. In the event that the parties disagree as to whether the Mediator shall serve, the Mediator shall not serve.
v. Authority of the Mediator. The Mediator does not have the authority to decide any issue for the parties, but will attempt to facilitate the voluntary resolution of the dispute by the parties. The Mediator is authorized to conduct joint and separate meetings with the parties and to offer suggestions to assist the parties achieve settlement. If necessary, the Mediator may also obtain expert advice concerning technical aspects of the dispute, provided that the parties agree and assume the expenses of obtaining such advice. Arrangements for obtaining such advice shall be made by the Mediator or the parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
Commitment to Participate in Good Faith. While no one is asked to commit to settle their case in advance of mediation, all parties commit to participate in the proceedings in good faith with the ...