MEMORANDUM ORDER OF REFERRAL TO MEDIATION
HARVEY BROWN, Justice.
The Court determines that it is appropriate to refer this appeal for resolution by mediation. See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. §§ 154.021, 154.022(a), 154.023 (Vernon 2005). Accordingly, the Court orders that this appeal be referred to mediation unless any party to the appeal files an objection with the Clerk of this Court within
The parties shall choose a qualified mediator and agree on a reasonable fee for the mediator's services.
The Court sets the following deadlines:
All parties, or their representative with full settlement authority, shall attend the mediation with their counsel. The mediator shall encourage and assist the parties in reaching a settlement of their dispute, but may not compel or coerce the parties to enter into a settlement agreement. See id. § 154.053(a) (Vernon 2005). All communications relating to the mediation are confidential and not subject to disclosure, except as set forth by law. See id. § 154.073 (Vernon 2005). The Clerk of this Court, however, will file this order, any objection to this order, and the completed "Parties' Notification to Court of Mediator" with the other documents filed in this appeal that are available for public inspection.
Unless expressly authorized by the disclosing party, the mediator may not disclose to either party information given in confidence by the other and shall at all times maintain confidentiality with respect to communications relating to the subject matter of the dispute. See id. § 154.053(b). Unless the parties agree otherwise, all matters, including the conduct and demeanor of the parties and their counsel during the settlement process, are confidential and may never be disclosed to anyone, including this Court. See id. § 154.053(c).
The Court will consider the agreed fee for the mediator's services to be reasonable and tax that fee as a cost of the appeal unless the parties agree to another method of payment. See id. § 154.054.