Gary Hall
Mediator Arbitrator Special Judge
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  Special Master
  Private Judge
Private Judge      

     Parties may wish to use a retired or former judge to resolve their dispute.  In Texas, parties have two choices when using a private judge. They may choose either (1) to use the court system procedures and safeguards or (2) to avoid the court system and have a private judge promptly decide the case.

     Use of Court System.  Parties may have either a jury or a non-jury trial.  To have a jury or non-jury trial in the courthouse, parties must apply to the court to have the private judge appointed as a special master. See Special Master.   To have a non-jury trial outside of the courthouse, parties must apply to the court to appoint the private judge as a Special Judge pursuant to Chapter 151, Tex.Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code.   The use of the court system protects every party's right of appeal in the event the private judge commits an error while presiding over the case.

     Outside of Court System.  Parties will decide upon the limits of discovery, the formalities of the proceedings and whether to relax the rules of evidence.   The parties will also agree upon whether the judge's decision will be final and binding or subject to appeal under certain circumstances.  The private judge will decide the case in accordance with the substantive law.  As a general rule, there is no right of appeal.


Mediator Arbitrator
Special Judge

Carter Scholer
8150 N. Central Expwy 5th Fl
Dallas, Texas