HC Home - HC (A-Z) - Court Agenda - County Directory - Employees - County Holidays
Skip Navigation LinksHome | Courts | Civil | Judge Sylvia A. Matthews | Court Details
Judge Sylvia A. Matthews Back to Judge Page

Information in Compliance with Tex. Gov't Code § 37.005


In the 2015 legislative session, the Texas Legislature passed a new law relating to the appointment of attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem, mediators, and guardians.  See Tex. Gov’t Code § 37.001 et seq. 

The new law requires each state court to establish and maintain separate lists of all attorneys who are qualified to serve as an attorney ad litem and are registered with the court; a list of all attorneys and other persons who are qualified to serve as a guardian ad litem and are registered with the court; and a list of all persons who are registered with the court to serve as a mediator. 

Although there may be exceptions, courts are instructed to rotate through the lists appointing the next person whose name appears on the list.  Tex. Gov’t Code § 37.004(a). 

Section 37.003(c) provides that if requested by one or more courts, the local administrative judge in the jurisdiction where the court sits shall establish and maintain the required lists for those courts. 

Inclusion on a list is not an endorsement and is not an indication that those on the list are in a special position to influence the Court.  

Attorney Ad Litem Appointments.  For attorney ad litem appointments, the 281st District Court follows the Protocol for Appointment of Attorneys Ad Litem adopted by the Board of Civil Judges in August 2015. A link to the Protocol may be found on the Court’s website. 


Mediator Appointments.  Section 37.004(b) states as follows: 

In each case in which the appointment of a mediator is necessary because the parties to the case are unable to agree on a mediator, a court using a rotation system shall appoint the person whose name appears first on the mediator list maintained by the court as required under Section 37.003.

The new law does not change the previous rule that a court may appoint those mediators on whom the parties agree. Tex. Gov’t Code § 37.004(c).  Moreover, on a finding of good cause, a court may appoint a qualified person included on the applicable list who is not next on the list and may appoint someone whose name does not appear on the list on a complex matter. Id. at § 37.004(d). 

In the vast majority of cases, counsel work out the details of mediation without involving the court.  Occasionally, the parties are not able to agree on whether to attend mediation and ask for the court’s involvement.  In those cases where mediation is ordered, the lawyers generally agree on a mediator.  In those rare cases where the parties are not able to agree, the court will appoint a mediator.  In deciding who may be a suitable mediator, counsel may refer to those who have registered with the court, or they may choose to employ the services of the Dispute Resolution Center.

The list below consists of individuals who have indicated a desire to be included on this court’s list of mediators.  There is no criteria for inclusion on this list.  Neither the Court nor anyone on behalf of the Court has reviewed the qualifications or experience of those included on the list. 

A List of Mediators*

Hon. Elizabeth Ray

Charles E. Johnson, MA

Sarah A. Duckers

Gerald M. Birnberg

Frank C. Price

Timothy A. Fjeldal

Bob Shults

Robin K. Taylor

Mark K. Glasser

Sylvia Mayer

Frederick J. Wagner

Tanner Garth

Jerry L. Rios

Stewart K. Schmella

Jim Doyle

Laura Hunt

Jack Hardin

Hon. John T. Wooldridge

Matthew Chappell

Hon. Scott Link

Henry J. Blum

Charles M. R. Vethan


Appointment of Guardian Ad Litems.


Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook
Harris County Administrative Offices of the District Courts
Site best viewed in 1024X768 Resolution.  For questions or comments Contact Us.