Update: Video Attendance by Lead Counsel & Party Reps at Mediation Permitted

Monday’s order precluding attendance at mediation by video was vacated sua sponte by Judge Gilstrap in light of the rapidly evolving developments surrounding the COVID-19 virus.

The Court issues this Order sua sponte. In light of rapidly evolving developments related to the COVID-19 virus, the Court hereby VACATES its order of March 16, 2020) (Dkt. No. 966) which required both lead and local counsel to mediate in person in Dallas, Texas. Such mediation would have required lead counsel to travel to Dallas, Texas from various locations around the country, and the Court is persuaded that an appropriate level of caution counsels against such travel at this time. The Court notes that both parties are represented by able and competent local counsel, both of whom are located in Tyler, Texas. Given the parties’ prior proposal to conduct mediation via videoconference, the Court agrees that videoconference participation is appropriate for national counsel who would otherwise have to travel in order to attend mediation.

Order at 1.

Accordingly, the order was modified to eliminate the in-person requirement for national counsel and parties – so long as the parties’ local counsel was present.