With broad experience as a trial lawyer for more than 40 years, David T. Lopez has been for years very active in dispute resolution. He is an arbitration and mediation panelist for the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the AAA’s administrator for international matters.
Lopez chaired the Dispute Resolution Section of the Houston Bar Association, and he is active in state, national and international dispute resolution organizations. As part of the leadership team of the ABA Litigation Section ADR Committee, he prepared a major portion of the chapter of international arbitration for a handbook on arbitration to be published by the ABA. He co-chairs the employment subcommittee and regularly publishes new development items and articles in the committee publications. He has been an invited presenter in professional seminars from the local to international levels, and served as an adjunct professor and lecturer for three Texas universities.
In his dispute resolution practice, Lopez emphasizes expedient resolution and control of costs. He engages in detailed preparation for mediation. As an arbitrator, he presses the parties to narrow the issues, eliminate or limit discovery, and schedule the arbitration hearing promptly.
Prior to graduating at the top of his South Texas College of Law class, Lopez was a journalist and served as director of press and publications of an organization covering the Western Hemisphere.
Lopez established his own private practice immediately upon graduation from law school, and he has been active in professional organizations at the local, state, national and international levels, serving in various leadership positions. In 2002, he was named a “top notch” lawyer by Texas Lawyer Newspaper, based on a statewide opinion survey,and in 2007 he was the single recipient of the Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award of the Texas Bar Foundation. He is a frequent seminar speaker and has published articles on legal topics related to substantive legal issues, trial work, and dispute resolution.
Before joining the AAA and ICDR arbitration and mediation panels, Lopez was an arbitration and mediation panelist for JAMS. He is a member of the advisory board of the Frank Evans Center for Dispute Resolution at South Texas College of Law, and has participated in Center projects in the U.S., Mexico, Panama and Ecuador. He also is on the advisory board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration. His mediation experience includes higher education, labor and employment, constitutional and civil rights, domestic and international commercial mediation, personal injury, and financial and securities matters.
He believes in detailed pre-conference preparation to identify potential problems and insure that participants have a full opportunity to identify, re-examine and articulate their individual interests. The preparation includes individual conferences with counsel for the parties, insistence on detailed pre-conference memoranda, and suggestion of exchange of memoranda by the parties. His broad experience is a substantial benefit in assisting participants to properly evaluate their position and alternatives to a negotiated settlement.
After attending Laredo Junior College, Lopez received a bachelor of journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin, where he was managing editor of the daily newspaper and editor of the monthly magazine. He did postgraduate work in economics at Texas Arts and Industries University and the University of the Americas in Mexico City. He was graduated first in his class, summa cum laude, from South Texas College of Law in 1971, where he was on the staff of the law review while working full time and attending law school in the evenings. He attended the Harvard University Program of Instruction for Lawyers, completed more than 400 hours of advanced training in dispute resolution, including the Fellows Course of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of the London Court of International Arbitration. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Houston and the Thurgood Marshall Law School of Texas Southern University and was named a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Lecturer at The University of Texas College of Communications.
Lopez attempts to set fees with consideration for the resources of the parties to the fullest extent. Generally, fees for mediation are $1,000 per party for a two-party half-day mediation; $1,800 per party for full day. Arbitration fees for a single arbitrator hearing are $3,750 per day, $450 an hour study time, and actual costs of travel, meals and boarding, if necessary.