Mediation + Litigation Avoidance

MEDIATION + LITIGATION AVOIDANCE

Deborah Hankinson handles the firm’s mediation practice. She conducts mediations for parties involved in litigation and for those enmeshed in pre-suit conflicts. Deborah delivers high value to mediating parties by virtue of her judicial background, courtroom experience, appellate expertise – and talent for problem-solving.

General information regarding our mediation procedures is available in our Mediation Overview.

Industries, Subject Matters + Approach

Deborah conducts mediations pertaining to numerous industries and subject matters, such as:

  • Business and partnership disputes
  • Catastrophic injury and mass torts
  • Complex commercial transactions of all types
  • Confidential employment matters, including executive contracts, as well as trade secrets issues
  • Oil and gas controversies
  • Insurance contract and coverage disputes
  • Intellectual property

During mediations, Deborah functions as a facilitator, evaluator, and problem-solver. Her approach is premised on fully understanding the parties’ needs and goals as a touchstone for working creatively towards mutually beneficial solutions. She is flexible in the tools she uses to bring parties together, but always focuses on setting the stage for resolution by getting the parties to listen to and absorb each other’s positions.

When mediation does not lead to a full settlement, Deborah makes it a practice to proactively follow up with the parties over time to offer additional ideas and to help ensure that all avenues are fully explored.

Multi-Party and Complex Scenarios

Deborah excels at untangling difficult, multifaceted issues and providing parties with evaluative insights and options that break deadlocks and move them forward. She also is adept at discerning the business and economic factors at play in a dispute. For these reasons, she has been asked on multiple occasions to mediate very large, highly complex, and often high-visibility matters involving numerous parties. In these instances, Deborah frequently works with all the parties to schedule waves of mediation sessions in a strategic and methodical fashion that advances negotiation and settlement.

CONSULTING

Pre-Suit Consulting + Case Evaluation

Deborah consults with individual clients involved in pre-litigation disputes as they determine how to proceed. In these situations, she helps clients to anticipate and assess the range of legal issues that may arise in litigation and provides insight as to how courts might view various legal issues at both the trial and appellate levels. When settlement is pursued, Deborah is proficient at working closely with clients to crystallize business and legal objectives and identify effective pathways for negotiation and resolution.

POST-FILING CONSULTING + SPECIAL SETTLEMENT COUNSEL

Deborah may be retained by individual clients already engaged in litigation to consult on settlement options and packaging settlement proposals and responses. Deborah also is available to serve as special settlement counsel. In this capacity, she becomes a member of the trial team, offers input on discovery and evidentiary matters as they pertain to possible settlement, and takes a more visible role in negotiations with opposing counsel at key junctures in a lawsuit.

Deborah Hankinson featured in 2015 Super Lawyers Magazine

Hankinson_TXSL15

Reprinted with permission from the Texas 2015 issue of Super Lawyers Magazine. © 2015 Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters.