Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution

Building Collaboration

Texas ADR Statutes

Resource Support for ADR Legislation

In 1996, the Center coordinated the preparation of legislation designed to eliminate legal barriers and to increase the gains from government and public policy alternative dispute resolution (ADR) use in Texas. As a result, two important bills were unanimously passed into law in 1997: the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act (GDR Act) and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act (NR Act). In 1999, the GDR Act was amended to include local governments and other governmental bodies as defined by the Texas Public Information Act (Tex Gov’t Code, § 552.003). These statutes, which incorporate provisions from the 1987 Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (ADR Act), now provide a framework for much greater use of ADR by governmental entities in a broad range of circumstances.

This link will take you to the Texas Statutes Government Code- scroll down to the Negotiated Rulemaking Act and the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act

Governmental Dispute Resolution Act

The Governmental Dispute Resolution Act (Tex Gov’t Code, Chapter 2009) provides explicit statutory authorization and encouragement of governmental entity ADR use. The Act conveys the Legislature’s endorsement of ADR use by these entities and establishes ADR as an appropriate method of resolving public disputes. Key provisions include:

Negotiated Rulemaking Act

The Negotiated Rulemaking Act(Tex Gov’t Code, Chapter 2008) encourages Texas agencies to use negotiated rulemaking (“reg-neg”) and outlines how the process should be used. This Act:

Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Act

The Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Act(Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann., Chapter 154) authorizes the referral of pending disputes by Texas courts to ADR procedures and establishes ADR confidentiality standards. This Act:

This link will take you to the Texas Statutes Civil Practice and Remedies Code- scroll down to the ADR Procedures Act

Report to Texas Legislature: Survey of State Agency ADR Use

The Center published a 1998 Report of Survey Results of Alternative Dispute Resolution Use in Texas State Agencies, which includes results, findings, and current trends in agency alternative dispute resolution. This report was developed in response to the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, which authorizes the Center to collect and analyze information about state agencies’ ADR programs and report its conclusions to agencies and the Legislature. The survey consisted of two parts: the Employment Survey, mailed to agency human resources departments, inquired about use of ADR in employee grievances and disputes; and the Legal Survey, mailed to agency legal counsel, inquired about use of ADR in contracts, rulemaking, contested cases, and litigation. Among many other findings, the Report states that ADR use in agencies has increased significantly since passage of ADR legislation in 1997 and that a wide variety of agencies would like assistance to increase their use of ADR in contested cases and contract disputes.

Publication of 1997, 1999, & 2001 Texas ADR Legislative Reports and

Commentary on ADR Statutes

All legislative reports contain summary information of all new ADR statutes and a survey of significant bills filed but not passed. The 1997 Texas ADR Legislative Report contains brief analyses of the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. The 1999 report included a brief analysis of the revision and extension of the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act to all governmental bodies, as defined in the Texas Public Information (or Open Records) Act. The Center also publishes a section-by-section analysis of two governmental ADR statutes, Commentary on the Government Dispute Resolution Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. This analysis also appeared in Rau & Sherman’s Texas ADR and Arbitration Statutes and Commentary, 1997 and 2000 editions.