Serving Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, and surrounding Texas counties, Barbara T. Hale, J.D., stands ready to assist you in bridging the gap to resolve your legal dispute. Ms. Hale brings extensive practical experience and professionalism to every matter. She is dedicated to helping guide the parties to mutually acceptable resolutions and outcomes which end the uncertainty and risk of litigation.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
S. S., JUDGE
Barbara's ability to assess a case thoroughly serves her well as a mediator. Her experience as a trial lawyer contributes to her success as a mediator because she understands the issues that a case might present in a jury trial.
Barbara Hale is an excellent mediator! She is an extremely caring individual and very fair. If you want to mediate with someone who will look at all of the issues and guide the parties to an outcome everyone can live with, mediate with Barbara!
I was impressed with Barbara's ability to manage expectations and work tirelessly towards a fair and equitable settlement. I was most impressed by her communication skills, her levelheadedness and pragmatism. I believe her strongest asset is her ability to connect with others on a basic human level in a practical yet compassionate manner.
Still have Questions?
What is mediation?
Mediation (also referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution) is a voluntary and confidential procedure that assists the parties in reaching a settlement with the help of an impartial third party, known as a mediator. Mediation allows the parties to exercise control over critical decision making, rather than abdicating that control to a judge or jury. No decisions are made for the parties. All of the decision-making authority remains with the parties throughout the process.
What does the mediator do?
The mediator is an impartial third party that guides the mediation process. An effective mediator will keep negotiations on track by clarifying and fostering communication. A mediator helps the parties find common ground by offering creative ideas and solutions to complex issues. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a written binding agreement memorializing the settlement between the parties.
What is co-mediation?
There may be times when a dispute may benefit from having more than one mediator. For example, in a child custody dispute, a psychologist may co-mediate with an attorney which allows for two perspectives in the negotiation setting. Or, in divorce cases, it may be beneficial to have a man and a woman co-mediate. Or in a complex civil dispute, it may be beneficial to have an expert from a specific area act as a co-mediator. Simply put, in a co-mediation, two mediators with different talents both work together to assist the parties in resolving their issues. Ms. Hale knows many experienced mediators in a wide-range of fields that may be called upon to co-mediate at no additional cost to the parties.
Who pays for mediation?
Typically each party pays half of the cost for the mediation. However, the parties can agree on a different payment arrangement. Payment is due in advance of the mediation date. Ms. Hale accepts a variety of payment methods.
Where is the mediation conducted?
If the parties are represented by counsel, mediation may take place in one of the attorney's offices or at a mutually agreed upon location. Ms. Hale has a variety of locations in which she conducts mediations, including courthouses, conference rooms, and churches.
Do I have to hire an attorney to come to mediation?
No. Mediation can be beneficial in a variety of situations, including prior to a lawsuit being filed. Be advised however, that as a neutral intermediary between the parties, Ms. Hale is not allowed to, and will not, act as an advocate for or provide legal advice to any party. Therefore, it is recommended, but not required, that you have your own legal counsel at the mediation. Ms. Hale reserves the right to stop the mediation if she feels an unrepresented party needs representation or does not have a sufficient understanding of the process.
Do I have to be in the same room with the person I have a dispute with if we cannot get along?
No. While it is often preferable for both sides to be able to talk directly with each other, it is not always possible or in the best interest of everyone to do so. Ms. Hale will help the parties make a decision on whether or not they should be in the same room or in separate rooms.
What if an agreement is not reached at mediation?
Mediation statistically has an 80% success rate as well as a significantly higher compliance rate over court orders. If your mediation session is not successful, no written agreement will be reached, and each person is free to leave. If mediation is not successful during the session, Ms. Hale will continue to work with the parties to resolve the matter in any way she can.
Will the mediator testify at trial or talk to the judge?
No. The mediator’s report to the Court is limited to the persons in attendance, the result of the mediation and, sometimes, the cost of the mediation, unless all parties agree that a different report is appropriate. The mediator is not a witness in your case and the mediator’s files are not subject to being subpoenaed.