Leach-Tech Mediation Stalled

Mike Leach vs. Texas Tech University; Cause No. 2009-550,359

In the District Court of Lubbock County, Texas

 On January 21, State District Judge William Sowder ordered Mike Leach and Texas Tech to seek mediation of their dispute and to complete the mediation by February 5. He also placed gag order on the talks. Tech had fired Coach Leach on Dec. 30, two days after it suspended him due to allegations that he had mistreated a player (wide receiver Adam James). James had been diagnosed with a concussion. Coach Leach filed suit against the University alleging, among other things, libel and slander and breach of contract, as well as denying that he had mistreated James.

Attorneys for fired Coach Leach and the University have held a court-ordered mediation session, without result. In a court filing mediator Frank E. Murchison said mediation had not been completed and has been recessed “pending future scheduling.”

Mediation is a process by which parties in a dispute negotiate a settlement of their claims against each other through the assistance of a trained, neutral mediator. It is a non-adversarial process. The mediator has no power to neither render a decision nor force the parties to accept a settlement. The mediator generally does not give an opinion or render an award, and typically does not even have any knowledge of the case prior to mediation. A mediator helps the parties to fashion their own settlement. Mediation offers no guarantee of a decision.