While serving as District Judge, Judge Metcalf instituted a system of alternate dispute resolution many years before the Texas legislature passed any formal statutory authority for ADR. Borrowing from judicial ADR models in other jurisdictions, in 1976 Judge Metcalf started a settlement conference system in his court where, through judicial intervention, parties were given an opportunity to resolve their differences prior to trial. Judge Metcalf was one of the judicial pioneers who recognized the need for litigants to be afforded an opportunity for alternative dispute resolution. Judge Metcalf either instituted or presided over hundreds of settlement conferences which were designed to give parties an alternative to judicial resolution.
As a practicing trial attorney in the Dallas area Judge Metcalf participated as an advocate in more than 100 mediated cases. From a background of more than thirty years of trial work and judicial experience with alternative dispute resolution, Judge Metcalf started a practice in 1997 devoted exclusively to mediation and arbitration of every type of civil dispute.
A majority of the time in the cases Judge Metcalf mediates, he has been able to assist the parties in reaching settlement. Whether judicially assigned or privately requested, Judge Metcalf’s mediation philosophy is based upon the belief that preparation and persistence pays off. The high settlement rate is accomplished by careful preparation prior to mediation. Judge Metcalf believes in carefully studying the pre-trial discovery, personally visiting with counsel for the parties and acquainting himself with all aspects of each parties case in the dispute prior to mediation.
The high settlement rate is accomplished by careful preparation before mediation and a unique process Mike developed that encourages the parties to return to mediation if the first try at mediation is not successful.
Home of the Two Hour “Wrap Up”
If the parties are unable to settle their dispute at the initial mediation session (round 1), as an integral part of his mediation service, Judge Metcalf will, at no additional charge, offer to the parties an opportunity to return to mediation for a free two hour (round 2) “wrap up” session. Long experience has proven that when parties choose to take advantage of the “wrap up” session the results have been remarkable. Mike’s two hour wrap up session has been highly effective at resolving even the most intractable cases. For the small percentage of cases that do not settle, Judge Metcalf will continue to work with the parties to try and effect a settlement to any case he has mediated.