A 28 Year Journey With Attorney Robert D. Courtney
December 21, 2018
(Fort Worth, Texas)… In a time where non-profits face many challenges in retaining volunteers long term, Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas Inc. is fortunate to have volunteers that serve for decades such as Fort Worth Family Law Attorney Robert D. Courtney. Mr. Courtney not only helped write the organizations history, but also influenced the common use of mediation in Tarrant County.
Known to DRS North Texas and colleagues as “Bob” Courtney, Mr. Courtney became affiliated with the organization in 1990 when Executive Director Bob Goode recruited Mr. Courtney as the Board of Directors Treasurer. Little did he know that he would embark on a 28-year journey with DRS North Texas advancing the usage of alternative dispute resolution methods and providing persons with limited resources access to mediation services.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, the mediation process was still relatively new. There was skepticism mediation would work, and it was not widely used in conjunction with the judicial process as it is today. Nonetheless, Bob accepted the role offered by Bob Goode. He stayed active on the Board for several years becoming the Board’s President in 1994. His volunteer service stretched beyond being a board member. He actively participated in the organization’s Settlement Week Program and Level II Mediation Program donating over 300 pro-bono mediation hours to DRS North Texas. Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, he primarily volunteered to mediate divorce and custody cases. A cheerful volunteer, Bob always had a joke or two to share with staff when volunteering at DRS North Texas. One memorable quip was when he told staff,” Let’s mediate, meditate, masticate, or whatever. It’s all the same.” His playful demeanor often relaxed parties involved in high conflict family disputes.
Bob grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and received a bachelor’s degree from Centenary College of Louisiana. He chose to come to Texas to attend law school at SMU after declining an offer to study law at Louisiana State University. It was a good thing he did too because it was at SMU that he met his wife at a school function. For over 47 years, Bob litigated Family Law cases in Tarrant County. In 2018, he and his wife chose to fulfill a lifelong dream to live in New Mexico. “We are starting a new life,” says Bob excitedly,”Vaya con Dios mis amigos at DRS North Texas.” Amigos in deed. While Bob has become an inactive volunteer for DRS North Texas, he remains dedicated to the cause of peacefully resolving disputes.
Serving Tarrant County and surrounding areas, Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas Inc. is a non-profit community dispute resolution organization of professional volunteer mediators who provide affordable mediation services and teach mediation and dispute and conflict resolution, an effective alternative to litigation. For more, visit drsnorthtexas.org/info. #