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Abstract

I readily acknowledge that the UMA is a bold and noble project, and it is certainly the result of substantial effort and compromise. Indeed, I largely concur with the sentiment of Philip Harter that "[tihe UMA is the product of heroic effort that brought together many interests and perspectives to thrash out a workable framework for mediation." That being said, however, much of the Texas mediation community, of which I am a part, has largely opposed enactment of the UMA's framework for our state. As I have written previously, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas (Texas ADR Section) has publicly stated its opposition. Similarly, the Association of Attorney-Mediators (AAM) and the Texas Association of Mediators have registered their strong opposition. The primary concerns of these organizations relate to two principal areas: (1) the UMA drafters' approach to confidentiality in comparison to the long established legislative approach set forth in the Texas ADR Act, and (2) the relative complexity of the UMA's provisions. In this essay I will first address these two major areas of opposition. Then, I will turn to several ancillary concerns, followed by a brief discussion of certain other entities' objections. I then encourage the reader to consider the other contributors' responses to my viewpoints.

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