Alternative Dispute Resolution Information:

Dallas County Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Dallas County Alternative Dispute Resolution Office is to PROVIDE ALTERNATIVES TO TRADITIONAL JUSTICE SYSTEM SERVICES by:

  1. Educating the public, litigants, lawyers and the courts about the benefits of alternatives to trial
  2. Designing and implementing programs in the courts and their communities
  3. Creating opportunities for the constructive management of conflict by the citizens of Dallas County


The Dallas County Alternative Dispute Resolution Office is a part of District Court Administration. LaCrisia "Cris" Gilbert is the ADR Coordinator and we are located on the 7th floor of the George Allen, Sr. Courts Building at 600 Commerce Street, Ste. 134. One of the major aspects of the ADR office is to provide the public and courts with a comprehensive up to date ADR Provider Directory and statistical reporting of mediation status. ADR Providers have access to ADR Report Forms through this web-site which include: The ADR Provider Application, The ADR Reporting Form, Rules for Mediation, and Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Chapter 154. The ADR Office is also a resource center for ADR and Court information. The office provides referrals for other services by maintaining a Directory of Services and referrals to the Dispute Mediation Service.

Dispute Resolution Alternatives include: Mediation, Arbitration, Moderated Settlement Conference, Mini-Trial, and Summary Jury Trial and combinations of these procedures.

What Do We Know About the Benefits of Alternatives?

Research in programs around the country clearly demonstrates that when individuals, families, corporations, and departments of government use alternatives to trial, they experience the following benefits:

  1. Greater SATISFACTION with the procedure and the outcome
  2. Savings in TIME and MONEY
  3. Processes are CONFIDENTIAL
  4. Higher rates of follow-through on performance and payment of damages
  5. Greater understanding of methods for managing conflict and resolving future disputes
  6. Decreased dependency on court services.

LaCrisia "Cris" Gilbert (Picture)

Cris Gilbert has been in the field of ADR since 1988. After receiving her initial training, she incorporated her mediation training into her position with two local municipalities. She has been involved in a private practice and training partnership and has devoted many hours of volunteer service to the Dispute Mediation Service. She has remained active in the Dispute Mediation Service's SCOPE program conducting peer mediation and conflict resolution training to youths and adults for schools and other organizations.

She has a unique background, including a Masters of Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law and a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. She has participated in several pilot mediation programs including, the EEOC, the Department of Justice's ADA and the Texas Department of Crimminal Justice Mediation contract. While a student at Pepperdine she had the opportunity to work with the United States Bankruptcy Court's Northern District Mediation Program and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office Dispute Resolution Program.

Cris' philosophy on the state of ADR Providers is not that we are "attorney mediators" or "non-attorney" mediators, but that we consider ourselves "professional mediators." Helping others become the best that they can be as professional mediators has become a passion for Cris and as the ADR Coordinator for Dallas County, the courts of Dallas County will be recognized as the leading court-annexed ADR program.

District Court Administration

Under the direction of the District Court Administrator, District Court Administration has the responsibility as the chief administrative officer for disrict court service activities for Dallas County. Accountable for six statutorily assigned or delegated administrative departments: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Child Support, Family Court Services, Grand Jury, Jury Services, and Purchasing/Contracts Administration. This department serves as liaison for the district courts and the service delivery departments connecting them with one another, with other county departments, and with the Commissioners Court to facilitate systemic county support for the effective administration of justice.

Duties are performedfor the Local Administrative District Judge and the 37 District Courts in accordance with statutory requirements and as assigned.

Family Court Services

Mission Statement

For Attorneys

Dallas County Child Support_Office

Mission Statement

For Attorneys

Forms (downloadable wordprocessing file)

Jury Services

About Jury Services

Jury Services FAQ


About Purchasing

Purchasing FAQ's

The Dispute Mediation Service, Inc. (Scan logo)

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Dispute Resolution Alternatives

Mediation is an informal meeting conducted by a neutral third person called a mediator. The mediator helps the parties reach a mutually agreeable solution to the issues of the dispute. Mediation establishes a combat-free setting where, with the aid of a skilled neutral mediator, you explore options and make your own decision about your case. Mediation reduces the anger, pain and confusion which accompanies conflicts. Mediation facilitates agreements between disputing people. Mediation is an ALTERNATIVE to the traumatic court battles, high legal fees, and extreme emotional distress which can accompany the traditional legal problems. Now you have a CHOICE.

Mediation is the most often used ADR procedure. The informality of mediation allows the parties to address grievances, and issues that may be appropriate or time consuming in a courtroom. Parties can prepare steps to deal with future conflicts about the same or similar issues.

Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. Arbitration is a process in which every person in the lawsuit and their attorney's present their case before an impartial person, who renders a specific award. If the parties do not agree in advance that the award is binding, the award is not binding but serves as a basis for the parties' further settlement negotiations.

Moderated Settlement Conference is a non-binding case evaluation by a neutral panel of attorneys. Each parties'attorney will make a summary presentation and answer questions from the panel. The panel then gives an evaluation on the strengths and weaknesses of each parties' case. The parties do not directly participate in the presentation. They get to hear the arguments and the evaluation. Sometimes the evaluation leads to other ADR procedures or negotiations.

Mini-Trial. Corporations or government agencies normally use the mini-trial to test their case presentations and rebuttals. Attorneys and representatives of the business or government entity (with authority to negotiate and resolve the dispute) attend. The thrid party neutral is usually an expert in the specific legal issues or subject matter of the dispute. The mini-trial follows a format similar to an arbitration, or moderated settlement conference. The third party may act as an advisor to the parties as they negotiate. Any recommendationor advisory opinion provided by the third p arty is non-binding on the parties.

Summary Jury Trial is a non-binding case evaluation by an impartial jury of the party's peers. The court, or another judge conducts the proceedings using limited procedures in selecting a jury and the presentation of evidence. This is a non-binding case evaluation by the party's peers.


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