Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas Inc. is a private non-profit organization that provides affordable mediation services and training to residents of Tarrant and surrounding counties.
Founded in 1982, DRS North Texas is part of a network of dispute resolution centers that have been instituted for the peaceable and expeditious resolution of citizen disputes. A year after its founding, the organization became the third of seventeen publicly-funded centers throughout the State of Texas and continues to be the designated dispute resolution center for Tarrant County and surrounding areas. Past offices have been located in the Fort Worth Stockyards and downtown Fort Worth. The current location of the organization is a few minutes away from the Tarrant County Courthouse located in downtown Fort Worth. However, no matter where DRS North Texas is located the letters ‘DRS’ forming a dove is a symbol that has represented the agency for decades.
Mediation provides a safe environment for parties to consult with an unbiased neutral third party called the mediator. As an impartial third party, the mediator listens to the concerns of each side of the dispute and works diligently to uncover areas of agreement that could lead to an agreed settlement. Issues such as breach of contracts, landlord/tenant disputes, business disputes, personal injury cases both including and not including motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, consumer complaints, probate matters, divorce, parent coordination, custody, employment disputes and neighborhood disputes, among others, are frequently resolved in mediations conducted at DRS North Texas.
Mediation services are performed by qualified professional mediators who volunteer their time and talent to the agency. These dedicated and qualified volunteers enable the agency to continue offering mediations to the community for a nominal fee. Each volunteer is qualified as a court appointed mediator having completed 40 classroom hours of Basic Mediation Training in accordance with Section 154 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. DRS North Texas Volunteers are passionate about guiding individuals to mutually agreeable resolutions. They are skilled at generating dialogue between disputing parties and experienced in uncovering uncommon solutions. The neutral, non-biased mediators at DRS North Texas provide the help where people can reach satisfactory and mutually beneficial settlements outside of a formal court hearing. Their services can be retained by submitting a request for mediation services form downloaded from drsnorthtexas.org or through a court order.
Benefits of Mediation
Conflicts are common occurrences in our society. These conflicts often result in parties expending enormous amounts of time, energy, emotion, and money. DRS North Texas has been instrumental in bringing closure to situations that would have absorbed hours of time and emotion otherwise. Whether it is before a lawsuit has been filed or during litigation, parties who have reached a written agreement through mediation at DRS North Texas have commented on how positive their experiences were with our services.
An equally important benefit is the monetary savings associated with resolving conflict through mediation. Filing fees, court fees, and attorney fees incurred during litigation can total into the hundreds and even the thousands of dollars. Comparatively, depending on the type of dispute, fees for participating in a mediation at DRS North Texas can be as low as $15 per party for qualifying clients. Costs vary based on types of cases, therefore clients should speak with a Case Specialist for the correct administrative fee assessed for services.
Mediation is a unique alternative dispute resolution method because the mediation process designates the parties as the individuals with the authority to determine the outcome of their dispute. Our mediators listen attentively to each side in order to help clients generate options for an agreed resolution. However, the authority to enter into a final written agreement remains the independent decision of the parties to the dispute. DRS North Texas provides a cost effective alternative that allows parties in conflict to not only be heard equally, but also to be equally involved in crafting a resolution, rather than having an outcome imposed upon them by the court or arbitrator.
A variety of mediation courses are conducted throughout the year. Mediation training classes offered in the spring and fall include 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training and 30-Hour Family Mediation Training. Specialized mediation courses are offered two to three times per year on average. All training classes are conducted by experienced mediators and trainers. Tuition for mediation training classes are set economical and made available to both current mediators and individuals of different professions who wish to become mediators or simply develop stronger communication and dispute resolution skills. Continuing legal education credits and other continuing education credits are often available for each course.
The company has an active, involved, and experienced board of directors comprised of a number of special focus committees including a finance committee, governance committee and other ad hoc committees are active as needed. In its 33 years of operation, the agency has had four executive directors. In 2013, attorney Jacquelyn Flynt took leadership of the organization as the fourth Executive Director. Ms. Flynt oversees the daily operation of the staff, manages public relations, and speaks at community events to increase awareness on the benefits of mediation. The staff coordinates multiple mediation appointments each week and carefully manages volunteer assignments to assure that mediators with the most appropriate skill levels and knowledge sets are appointed to cases. Additionally, the staff organizes training courses and other events to recognize and show appreciation for our dedicated volunteers.
Honored to take the lead in assuring that the entire North Texas community has access to high quality affordable mediation, Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas Inc. is dedicated to the vision of being the leading resource for alternative dispute resolution services for our community. For more information, please visit Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas Inc. on the web at www.drsnorthtexas.org.