The Law Offices of Rae Leifeste


       Mediation is a process by which parties are allowed to fully explore a resolution of their dispute.  Litigation results in a final resolution imposed by the fact finder.  Mediation affords the parties an opportunity to create solutions that are simply not available to the Court.  The broad latitude of settlements available that can be tailored for each individual party and dispute makes mediation an attractive alternative to litigation.

                                                                              Mediation Services Offered

1. Full-Day or Half-Day Sessions
2. Pre-Suit Mediation
3. Discovery Dispute Mediation
4. Temporary Orders Mediation
5. Arbitration

                                                             Full-Day or Half-Day Sessions
                                                                                    Full-Day Fee $600.00 per party
                                                                   Half-Day Fee $350.00 per party

          Full-day mediation lasts up to eight hours from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with a working lunch hour with lunch provided.  Half-day mediation lasts
up to four hours from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (No lunch is provided).   Each hour in excess of the eight hours for full-day or four hours for half-day is billed at $200.00 per hour divided equally by the parties.  For cases where progress is made but the dispute is not resolved at the session, there is no charge for the first hour of post-session follow up calls and correspondence.  The fee covers cost of the full-day session, pre-mediation submission and review, lunch, and use of conference room facilities.

                                                                                             Pre-Suit Mediation

                                                                                             Fee $300.00 per party

            Pre-suit mediation is scheduled for three hours from 9:00 a.m. to Noon or 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  If progress is being made a second three hour session may be scheduled at the same rate.

                                                                                  Discovery Dispute Mediation
                                                                                           Fee $200.00 per hour divided
                                                                            equally between parties

            Discovery disputes are rarely welcomed by most judges and if a resolution cannot be made in a complicated discovery matter, being able to represent to the Court that the parties have attempted mediation on the issues should put all parties in a better light in Court.  However, these same discovery disputes are often capable of resolution by way of mediation.  Sessions will be scheduled by agreement for a set number of hours.

                                                              Temporary Orders Mediation
                                                                                     Fee $250.00 divided equally
                                                                            between parties


            Appearing with multiple witnesses for a temporary orders hearing may be avoided if the parties engaged in a one-hour mediation session.  Additional time may occasionally be needed and would be charged at $100.00 per half-hour to be split by the parties.  If time does not allow before the temporary orders hearing setting, the parties could agree to an extension by a Rule 11 agreement to allow mediation before hearing preparation must begin.

                                                                                 Pre-Session Submissions

            In all full-day, half-day and pre-suit mediation sessions, a submission from each party setting forth  the parties summation of the facts and analysis of the dispute is requested at least two days prior to the mediation session.  Each party will also submit a copy of their active pleading.   If the case is set for a jury trial and the parties have a proposed jury instruction, the parties are requested to submit a copy of their proposed jury instructions.  A submission form will be provided to each party.

                                                            Non-Binding Mediation to Binding Arbitration

            Sessions may be conducted in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution including binding arbitration allowed by Texas law.  Non-binding advisory opinions from the Mediator may also be requested by agreement of the parties.

                                                                                 Parties to Attend Session

            Each party must have a representative attend the entire session who has authority to settle the dispute.  A list of all persons expected to attend should be provided with the pre-session submission.

                                                                         Use of Facilities


            Mediation sessions may be conducted at the offices of either party by agreement or conference rooms will be provided at no additional cost to the parties.

                                                             Fees, Travel, and Cancellations


            All fees are payable in advance of the mediation session.  Travel expenses for the mediator, if mediation is conducted outside of San Angelo, Texas, shall be set by agreement of all parties at the time of scheduling mediation. Cancellations of sessions that are rescheduled are not subject to a cancellation fee.  All other cancellations within 48 hours of the mediation session may be subject to a $100.00 cancellation fee.  All other cancellations within 24 hours of the mediation session may be subject to a $250.00 fee.  


                                                              Conduct at Mediation Session


            All participants shall agree to make a good faith effort to reach a settlement. All participants shall be given a fair opportunity to express their position and shall treat everyone with respect.  Counsel for each party shall determine the level of participation by their client in the actual presentations at the mediation.  Counsel is encouraged to allow their clients to make presentations at the mediation session, especially in family law disputes, to give the mediation process a full opportunity to be successful.

                                                 Mediator’s Qualifications and Experience


 33rd year of litigation experience

 26th year in private practice

 4 years as State District Judge in Tom Green
     County, Texas with General Jurisdiction 2001-2004
Board Certified Civil Trial Law by Texas Board of
     Legal Specialization since 1987


     Law—Medical malpractice,
     products liability, other personal injury cases, construction, real
     estate, oil & gas, DTPA, business disputes and dissolutions,
     receiverships, will contests, trust reformation and termination, fiduciary
     malfeasance & misfeasance, lending and collections, labor disputes and
     employment discrimination, 
     insurance claims, condemnation, water & utilities
     Law—Divorce, Custody, Support,
     Termination, Protective Orders, Adoptions, Judge assigned to Child
     Protective Service Cases 
     Law—All levels from Capitol
     Murder to State Jail Felonies and all Misdemeanors
     Law—Austin, San Antonio, El
     Paso, Beaumont, Eastland Courts of Appeal, Texas Supreme Court


 Texas Tech University Bachelor of Arts with
     Honors 1977
 University of Houston Law School Doctor of
     Jurisprudence 1980
 A. A. White Dispute Resolution Center—Mediation
     Training 2004


 Teaching Assistant University of Houston Law
 Associate Professor at Howard College—Teaching
     Civil Trial in paralegal Program
 Author published Is a Final Settlement Really Final?, in REVIEW OF LITIGATION in
     1992 by Texas Law Review
 Speaker & Author—State Bar CLE, Current Texas Law
 Speaker—St. Mary’s Law School CLE Ethics Seminar
 Tom Green County Bar Association, Past President
     and Board Member
 State Bar of Texas
 State Bar College