There are several important distinctions that one may make between mediation and trials in Texas. Many of these differences will have a tremendous impact on how the case is resolved. Some of the most significant differences between Texas mediation sessions and trials include the cost involved, the possible outcomes, and the procedure each of these methods entails.
Mediation will almost always cost just a fraction of what a trial would cost the parties. Many attorneys charge hourly for their services, so every phone call, letter, email, and court hearing add up quickly. Multiply these expenses over the several months or years it takes to have a trial scheduled, and you will have a legal bill of several thousand dollars. In mediation, however, the mediator may charge for a few hours of time, and there is no significant waiting period to schedule the mediation session, which saves the parties a great deal of money.
At the end of a trial, the judge may be limited in how he or she rules on certain issues, perhaps due to personal preference or experience. Some parties walk away from a trial absolutely hating the ruling they have received. In mediation, however, the parties are able to create a settlement that suits their needs, and they may include as much detail as they prefer.
Many parties dread the thought of taking the witness stand, testifying in front of a judge, and being aggressively cross-examined by the opposing attorneys in the case. Since, during testimony, witnesses are only able to answer the questions that are asked of them, many feel that they do not get to tell the judge their story. During mediation, however, the parties are typically in a conference room, and they have the opportunity to tell the mediator all of the case details.