Wanda McKee Fowler Quoted on Mediation in Houston Chronicle

Firm News

Ms. Fowler is a mediation specialist, AAA arbitrator, former appellate judge

HOUSTON –  Wright Close & Barger partner Wanda McKee Fowler, an AAA arbitrator and former appellate judge, was interviewed by theHouston Chronicle about the benefits of mediation in solving a particularly contentious dispute.

“Sometimes it takes more than one mediation for a case to settle,” Ms. Fowler told the Chronicle. “There’s benefit in having parties that are going to have a continuing relationship resolve it themselves, rather than have the law to resolve it.”

The Chronicle story, “Appeals court orders Houston firefighters, city back to mediation,” reported on a 14th Court of Appeals judge ordering the Houston firefighters union and Mayor Sylvester Turner to return to mediation to try to resolve their dispute over a new pay contract amid litigation over voter-approved Proposition B. That proposition, raising firefighter pay, was recently ruled unconstitutional.

Ms. Fowler, who has mediated numerous disputes, said that process offers the chance for a better result for both sides, despite potential roadblocks.

“When a court resolves an issue, often the result is one-sided,” she said. “At mediation, you have the opportunity to achieve a compromise that is not so one-sided.”

Ms. Fowler, who was on Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals for nearly 14 years, has served as mediator on cases involving energy law, commercial transactions, insurance and personal injury claims.

She is an American Arbitration Association (AAA) panelist who presides over arbitrations involving complex commercial disputes, insurance coverage matters and construction cases.

Ms. Fowler trained at Attorney Mediators Institute Inc. and New York University’s institute for Judicial Administration.

She has been recognized for her appellate work since 2013 in The Best Lawyers in America peer review guide.

Wright Close & Barger LLP is a Houston-based civil trial and appellate firm handling complex trial and appeals work for clients across Texas. The firm’s team of experienced attorneys has a track record of achieving favorable resolutions in cases involving catastrophic personal injury, insurance coverage, intellectual property, oil and gas, product defects, commercial disputes, arbitration and mediation, trade secrets, and trust and estate litigation, among others. Wright Close & Barger also assists with pretrial motions, special evidence problems, challenges to expert witnesses, and the critical work on the court’s charge to the jury. To learn more, visithttp://www.wrightclosebarger.com.