Brief History of TMCA

Following the enactment of the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolutions Procedures Act in 1987, mediators, jurists, and legislators convened numerous conversations about mediation and its future. In 1998, then State Bar of Texas ADR Section Chair John Palmer created an ad hoc committee of representatives of leading mediator organizations to explore the possibility of a voluntary credentialing plan for Texas. This group, comprised of representatives from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas, the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas School of Law, the Texas Association of Mediators, the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable, the College of Texas Mediators, the Texas Dispute Resolution Centers Directors Council, and the Association of Attorney Mediators, donated time and energy to establish voluntary, statewide credentialing. Members of these organizations, along with representatives of the public, the judiciary, and education, worked together over a seven-year period to develop the first statewide, voluntary, multi-disciplinary credentialing program in the United States. The group, initially recognized as the Texas Mediator Credentialing Committee, later became the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA) in 2001.

The result was a unique and innovative multi-tiered approach that adopted standards of practice, a code of ethics for mediators, and a grievance procedure. With its mission “to Promote Quality Mediation throughout Texas,” the newly formed TMCA began educating the public about the benefits of mediator credentialing and the availability of a grievance process at no cost to the public or the consumer. In January 2004, the first mediator credentials were issued to Suzanne Mann Duvall of Dallas.

Since that time, the TMCA has continued to promote public confidence in the mediation process, to protect consumers through the availability of a grievance procedure, and to further develop the profession through its annual symposium for mediators.

Adapted from “The Development of Ethical Guidelines and Mediator Credentialing in Texas,” Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr. Alternative Resolutions, Vol. 16, No. 3-4, Summer-Fall 2007, with additional history provided by the Honorable John Coselli.