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Mediator of the Month: Texas

March 16, 2016


Will Pryor is an expert in dispute resolution, providing expert mediator services, as well as offering arbitration and providing support to the legal industry through his work as a teacher and lecturer.


A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School and an award winner mediator, Will approaches each case with patience and persistence.


Through his career Will has undertaken over 3,000 mediation and arbitration cases. Prior to his current work Will was a former State District Judge, as well as a former First Assistant Attorney General, State of Texas.


Will has a varied background in the legal sector. He has over 50 hours of mediation training from the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Austin, Texas, and the Straus Institute at Pepperdine Law School in Malibu, California.


During Will’s senior year, at the height of the “Watergate era”, he served as the Speaker’s Page, the personal page to the Speaker of the House of Representatives (the Honorable Carl Albert, Dem.-Oklahoma). As an undergraduate at Yale University, Will was both the Chairman of the student government organization, the Yale College Council, and Captain of the varsity baseball team.


Will was a co-founder, along with the late, great, Honorable Merrill Hartman, of the South Dallas Legal Clinic, the precursor of the neighborhood legal clinics in Dallas and the most successful pro bono project in the United States. Will was twice a recipient of the “Pro Bono Award of the Year” from the Dallas Bar Association and North Texas Legal Services.


One of Will’s key services is mediation. Mediation is a non-binding, facilitated settlement negotiation. The term non-binding refers to the fact that there is no resolution unless the parties agree to the terms of resolution. Any agreement achieved, however, is as binding as any other contract or settlement agreement.


Regardless of the type of case, whether it is a construction case, an employment discrimination claim, or insurance coverage dispute, the process is essentially the same. Mediations can be conducted at the firm or any other location that is agreeable to all parties. Will has mediated cases as far away as California, Ohio, and Georgia, and routinely mediates disputes in Houston, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.


Most mediations begin with an informal joint session. Participants have an opportunity to summarize their perspective and evaluation of the dispute. When the joint session has run its course, the parties divide into separate caucuses. The mediator then becomes a “shuttle diplomat” between the parties, going back and forth until the case, hopefully, is resolved.


There are at least two schools of thought with respect to the proper role of the mediator. One view is that the mediator should always be non-evaluative, that he or she should facilitate communication but not express opinions or make recommendations. Another view is that the mediator should be evaluative, and should share his or her views, opinions, and evaluation of the case. Will Pryor is evaluative, utilizing his judgment, experience, and instincts to assist the parties with their evaluation and re-evaluation.


Will firmly believes that any form of communication prior to the mediation is appropriate. Pre-mediation communication with mediators is often essential to resolution of the dispute. Whether the communication is a phone conference, a written submission, or a meeting, the communication will be treated confidentially. Everything submitted is reviewed in preparation for the mediation. If requested, any or all of the materials are returned at the conclusion of the mediation.


Typically Will asks that clients provide, prior to consultation, a brief summary of the dispute and the client’s perspective on it (if this is reflected in a trial pleading, motion, or other readily available document, that is all that is needed) as well as a list of everyone who will be attending the mediation.


Contact Details


Name: Will Pryor


Address: Two Lincoln Centre


 5420 LBJ Freeway (Tollway & LBJ)


 Suite 626


 Dallas, TX 75240


Phone: 469-374-0222


Fax: 469-374-9272