Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fran Brochstein's Mediation Checklist


Attorney at Law & Mediator

8978 Kirby Drive                                                                                                 (713) 847-6000
Houston, TX 77054                                                                                               FAX (832) 415-0139

                                                                                                                                                  Fran’s personal cell phone 713-805-9591


Generic Checklist and/or Suggestions to make mediation more efficient:

  1. It is encouraged that you determine where the mediation is going to be held BEFORE the date of the mediation.  It is across the freeway from Reliant Stadium at Loop 610.  The building is a 2-story brown office building.  If you reach the “West Bellfort intersection you have gone too far.  We are located directly across the street from the vacant lot formerly known as Astroworld.  The law office is at the end of the building on the 1st floor.  There is a large white “Attorney” sign on the building by our front door.   Above the glass door appears “8978” and beside it appears “Bushman Law Office” and "Fran Brochstein, LLC".  Parking is free.

  1. Before mediation begins, both parties must sign the paperwork to agree to mediate and pay the $250 fee by cash, money order or attorney check.  Personal checks, debit cards, and credit cards are NOT accepted.  There is NO ATM in our building.  The closest ATM is located at Loop 610 and Buffalo Speedway.  If you refuse to sign the paperwork, then the mediation cannot go forward and this will be reported to the Judge. 

  1. Mediation begins promptly at the appointment time.  Please arrive on time. 

  1. We do not provide babysitting services.  Please arrange to have child care for your children.

  1. Please do not bring any friends or relatives with you to mediation without prior approval by the mediator and all attorneys.  Spouses are usually allowed – fianc├ęs should not attend the mediation. Do not have anyone contact the mediator on your behalf.

  1. After the initial 4-hour mediation session, the mediator’s rate is $62.50 per hour per party, payable (in cash) at the time of the mediation.  It is suggested that you bring at least $600 cash in small bills with you to mediation.  Do not expect the mediator to be able to make change.  Attorney checks are also accepted.

  1. Please anticipate remaining at mediation for 4-6 hours.  FYI:  My longest ½ day mediation went over 11 hours so please plan accordingly.  If we are making progress and everyone agrees to stay, I prefer to keep working toward resolution. 

  1. If you think you might need something, bring it with you and leave it in your vehicle.  This might include:
a.    All paperwork to determine income – such as pay stubs & tax returns for the past 2 years.
b.    All paperwork concerning community assets such as current house note, down payment, equity, current loan value, value of retirement plan at marriage and now, etc.
c.     All paperwork concerning the community liabilities
                                               i.     (such as credit card debts), etc.
d.    All paperwork concerning separate property assets and liabilities.
e.    All insurance paperwork – health, life, vehicle, homeowners, etc.
f.      Photos, emails, etc.

  1. If custody is an issue, be prepared to discuss why you should have custody and why the other parent should not have custody.  

  1. If children are involved, bring a photo of the children to mediation.

  1. A brief outline of all issues of the case and your proposed settlement offer to resolve this case.

  1. All necessary medications – such as high blood pressure mediation, asthma medication, diabetic supplies, etc. 

  1. You are not allowed to roam around the office or “peek” into other rooms.

  1. Bottled water, soft drinks and light snacks are provided.  Please feel free to bring your favorite snack, candy, gum or soft drinks. If you smoke, bring cigarettes.   Remember you could be at mediation for up to 12 hours so plan accordingly.  You must not eat food that belongs to other people in the office. 

  1. Wear comfortable clothing.  Bring a sweater or light jacket, if you get cold easily.

  1. Please feel free to bring a magazine or book to read.  Wireless internet is not always available.

  1. The parties and their legal counsel agree to stay at mediation until the mediator declares an impasse, writes a report to the Court and gives everyone permission to leave.  If you leave before the mediator declares an impasse, the mediator will report this to the Judge. 

18. If an agreement is reached, the agreements are written down and everyone must sign what has been agreed to, including the mediator.  Then everyone receives a copy of the Mediated Settlement Agreement.  The original of this document is filed with the Court. 

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