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RULE §33.56Alternative Dispute Resolution

(a) At any time prior to or during a contested case hearing, any party in a disciplinary matter may request referral to alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

(b) Parties may agree to mediate a dispute through a mediator employed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings or through a private mediator. Mediation through SOAH is subject to SOAH's rules for mediation (Title 1 Texas Administrative Code); the Administrative Procedure Act (Tex. Gov't Code Ch. 2001); laws relating to SOAH administrative procedure in Tex. Gov't Code Ch. 2003; and Tex. Gov't Code Ch. 2009, relating to ADR for use by governmental bodies.

(c) If the parties elect to use a private mediator:

  (1) the participants must unanimously agree to use a private mediator;

  (2) the participants must unanimously agree to the selection of the person to serve as the mediator; and

  (3) the mediator must agree to be subject to all time limits imposed by the executive director, the administrative law judge, statute, or regulation.

(d) If a private mediator is used, the costs for the services of the mediator shall be apportioned equally among the participants, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the participants, and shall be paid directly to the mediator. In no event, however, shall any such costs be apportioned to a governmental subdivision or entity.

(e) All mediators in commission mediation proceedings shall subscribe to the ethical guidelines for mediators adopted by the ADR Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Source Note: The provisions of this §33.56 adopted to be effective December 31, 2020, 45 TexReg 7241

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