Jefferson County announces Settlement Week

The SE Texas Record Aug. 16, 2007, 11:23am

Settlement Week is all about timely, cost effective justice. On Monday, Sept. 17, Jefferson County's Settlement Week project begins.

This is an annual project co-sponsored by the Jefferson County Young Lawyer's Association and the Disptute Resolution Center of Jefferson County and authorized by Jefferson County civil courts.

It will kick off at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby (new section) of the Jefferson County Courthouse. Its purpose is to encourage the early settlement of cases pending litigation in Jefferson County through mediation.

What happens?

Attorneys with cases in Jefferson County are asked by the presiding courts to review their case files and submit lawsuits appropriate for mediation to the project. The Dispute Resolution Center develops the week-long docket from the cases submitted.

The goal is to help parties find satisfying solutions and reduce the courts' backlog and costs by mediating as many cases as possible during Settlement Week.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a confidential problem-solving negotiation process conducted by local attorneys trained in mediation. The mediator's job is to help disputing parties clarify issues and evaluate options for solutions.

Mediators for Settlement Week will not impose rulings or give legal advice, but will assist parties in evaluating their case and exploring settlement options. The attorneys volunteer their time to make this low cost project work.

The first Settlement Week in Texas was held in 1987 in Tarrant County. The first Settlement Week held in Jefferson County was in the spring of 1990 under the leadership of the Young Lawyers Association and the Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County, Inc.

During the 2006 Settlement Week a total of 36 cases were received. These lawsuits involved personal injury damage involving motor vehicles and other personal injury damage, business/commercial and family matters. There were a total of 26 Attorney Mediators donating their time.

Citizens who believe their case may benefit from mediation can call their attorney to discuss the idea of submitting their case to this county project.

For more information, call 409-835-8647, or send an e-mail to

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