2009 Texas Legislation on Arbitration and Mediation


In 2009, the 81st Regular Session of the Texas Legislationadjourned on June 1. Following is a summary of some bills related to alternative dispute resolution filed during the session.

Bills that passed:

  • H.B. 2256. The bill relates to mediation of out-of-network health benefit claim disputes concerning enrollees, facility-based physicians, and certain health benefit plans. Here are the bill’s history and analysis. Posts by Holly Hayes discussing this bill are here and here(with commentary by Victoria Pynchon and Michael Curry).
  • S.B. 1650, authored by Senator Duncan (R-Lubbock), would grant Texas appellate courts jurisdiction over certain interlocutory appeals arising under the FAA. Here are the bill’s history and analysis. Find a post by Don Cruse here.
  • H.B. 1083. The bill, authored by Rep. Gary Elkins, states that “Except as provided by agreement of the parties, a court may not order mediation in an action that is subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16).” Here are the bill’s history and analysis. Also, a guest-post by Audrey L. Maness from Weil, Gotshal & Manges is here.

Bills that did not pass:

  • S.B. 222, authored by Senator Royce West, would amend the Texas Arbitration Act to ban pre-dispute arbitration in employment, consumer, and franchise contracts. In addition, it would prohibit arbitration of civil right claims. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 2139. Authored by Rep. McClendon, the bill establishes a victim-offender pretrial mediation program for first-time offenders. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 2095. Filed by Rep. Farrar, relating to the regulation of claims against residential home builders. This bill would prohibit charging homeowners with fees in connection with a state-sponsored inspection or dispute resolution process and arbitration required under the same title. The bills’ history is here.
  • H.B. 2896. Filed by Rep. Leibowitz, relating to forms to be used by builders in contracts for the sale or construction of a new home. This bill provides that a contract form requiring the parties to agree to binding arbitration can not be adopted. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 3426. Filed by Rep. Hernandez, relating to the notice required by certain mortgage servicers before foreclosing on real property. This bill provides mediation rules for foreclosure disputes. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 3482. Filed by Rep. Coleman, relating to the notice required by mortgage servicers before foreclosing on real property. This bill is similar to H.B. 3426. The bill’s history is here.
  • S.B. 1475. Filed by Senators EllisVan de Putte, and Watson, relating to the notice required by mortgage servicers before foreclosing on real property. This bill is identical to H.B. 3426 and similar to H.B. 3482. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 2696 would prohibit one contracting party from requiring the other party to agree to arbitration as a condition of the contract. It also provides that an agreement is unconscionable if its enforceability would violate a right protected by either the U.S. or Texas Constitutions. In addition, an agreement to arbitrate must be displayed prominently in 12-point bold type. The bill’s history is here.
  • S.B. 556 would amend the Insurance Code by adding a clause to provide for binding arbitrationagreements within the context of health care contracts with physicians and health care providers. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 1635 would abolish the Texas Residential Construction Commission and provides for the phasing out of arbitration claims. The bill’s history is here.
  • H.B. 2539 relates to a disaster recovery insurance claims mediation program. The bill’s history is here.

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