Academy Member Inducted 2017

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Steve Nelson, Mediator, Plano, Texas.

Steve Nelson

Markel Surety
5905 Legacy Dr., Suite 400
Plano, TX 75024
Tel: (512) 330-1850
Cell: (512) 750-9720
Fax: (512) 732-8010
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Recognized to Texas Chapter for Mediation Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Court-Appointed Neutral (Special Master), Early Neutral Evaluation, Facilitation & Systems Design, Fact Finding, Insurance Umpire, Med-Arb, Mini-Trial Judge
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced1985
  • # of MEDS (as of 19/6/24)2000
  • # of ARBS (as of 19/6/24)20
Current Practice
Online / In-Person
  • WACO


Since 1990, mediated over 2000 construction, construction defect, A/E professional liability, surety and insurance coverage disputes, including breach of contract, delay claims, construction defects, pricing and change order disputes, architect/engineer errors & omissions, government contract claims, change orders, bid disputes, surety default issues, indemnity claims, etc.; most multi-party and complex. I have served on Dispuite Review Board panels, as a judge in State District Court Summar Jury Trials, neutral evaluator, insurance valuation referee, and mediation skills and advocacy for both mediators and advocates.

I limit my practice to construction, construction related, surety, and construction insurance related matters.  I do not mediate bodily injury, personal injury, workers compensation,  family law, or consumer cases.

Disclosures, Conflicts, Impartiality and Bias: I have disclosed, or will disclose, to you all material relationships, dealings, and prior contact with the parties, their counsel, and any principals, witnesses, experts, consultants, insurers, sureties, etc. you identify for me.  If there is any relationship that precludes me from serving in an impartial and neutral manner, I will decline the assignment. If any of the disclosures raise questions that are not answered to your satisfaction, please let me know and I will withdraw if I cannot assure you of my neutrality.  When you consider the business dealings between my companies and many construction companies, bar and trade association activities, and prior legal and dispute resolution engagements, it is rare that I have not had dealings with some or all of the counsel, experts, insurance carriers or parties in major construction disputes. Many contractors and subcontractors are either bonded by SureTec or have bonds written in their favor, or are insured by SureTec's sister companies, Evanston and Markel Insurance Company.  Often those companies or their principals or insureds consider that relationship confidential, and I will not disclose those  relationships unless I have been personally and directly involved in a claim or transaction that might create a true conflict of interest.  It is my hope that those dealings will not always be viewed as a disqualifying factor, but as what they often prove to be: the basis for credibility that allows me to be more effective in the mediation process.   



Case Experience

  • Condominiums
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Engineering
  • Industrial
  • Insurance
  • International
  • Local Govt./Municipalities
  • Native American
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence


  • B.A., Economics, Southern Methodist University, 1972
  • J.D. (Law), Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1976; Editor, Journal of Air Law
  • Initial Basic Mediation Training, 1990, U.S, Arbitration & Mediation Services and Dispute Management Resources
  • Additional Basic Mediator Training, 1991, Dallas Bar Association
  • Advanced Mediator Training, 1995, 1997, Attorney-Mediators Institute
  • Additional Training and Continuing Education by Association of Attorney Mediators, Texas Mediator Credentialing Institute, University of Texas Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section, Austin Bar Association, American College of Construction Lawyers, and International Academy of Mediators, NS Texas Mediators Credentialing Association.
  • Since 1990, mediated over 2000 construction, surety and insurance coverage disputes, including breach of contract, delay claims, construction defects, pricing and change order disputes, architect/engineer errors & omissions, government contract claims, change orders, bid disputes, surety default issues, indemnity claims, etc.; most multi-party and complex
  • Global Pound Conference Austin  (2017)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Senior Lecturer, 2000 - present, teaching Construction Industry Dispute Resolution and Avoidance to Masters and Doctoral Candidates at the University of Texas School of Engineering, Austin, Texas;
  • Facilitator, Neutral Evaluator, DRB panel member, and Settlement coach
  • Former Panel Member, AAA Panel of Arbitrators

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Court Admissions
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
  • Supreme Court of Texas; Bar License 14905650
  • Board Certified in Construction Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization


  • Professional Activities:
  • Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers (1994-present; Member, Board of Governors, 2005-2008)
  • Fellow and Advisory Board Member, University of Texas Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution (2002 to present)
  • Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators (2011 to present)
  • Distinguished Credentialed Mediator, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association
  • Member, Texas Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • Former Member Member, National Surety Industry Advisory Committee, Associated General Contractors of America
  • Legislative Co-Chair, Texas Surety Federation
  • Member, Fidelity & Surety Subcommittee of Tort & Insurance Practice Section
  • Member, ABA Dispute Resolution Section
  • Member, ABA Forum Committee on Construction Law
  • Founding Member and Past Chairman, Construction Law Section, State Bar of Texas
  • Founding Member and Past Chairman, Construction Law Section of Dallas Bar Association
  • Founding Member and Past Chairman, Austin Bar Association Construction Law Section
  • Legislative Liaison, State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section (2008-2010)
  • Editor, Construction Law Section Newsletter, State Bar of Texas (1992-1995)
  • Member and Certified AAM Mediator, Association of Attorney-Mediators (Past President, Central Texas Chapter)
  • Co-Chairman, State Legislative Committee, Associated General Contractors, Texas Building Branch (1998-2014) Chairman Emeritus (2015-present) (instrumental in drafting and lobbying for changes in contractual indemnity, OCIP’s, mechanic’s lien, dispute resolution, project delivery, contingent payment, and trust fund legislation)
  • General Counsel, Associated General Contractors, Dallas Building Branch (1990-1995)

Community Activities and Public Service:

  • Former Chair, Greater Dallas Crime Commission
  • Former Member, City of University Park, Texas Public Safety Committee
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Chairman, Board of Directors, Austin Community College Foundation
  • Former Chairman, Board of Directors, Austin Recovery Center
  • Volunteer, Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, 1996- present
  • HOA Board Member

Rates Information

Fee Schedule:  I typically charge a flat rate per day of mediation per party, payable in advance unless other arrangements are made. I typically do not schedule half day mediations. Full days that end early will typically be billed at the full rate. Major high dollar disputes that involve extensive review of documents, site visits, extensive pre-mediation discussions, etc. may be billed only on an hourly basis of $650/hour.  I try not to charge anything other than my daily rate and will typically not bill for separate follow up, mediator’s proposals, etc. unless it being to take a substantial amount of post mediation time.  A “party” is one or more related or affiliated participants represented solely by the same counsel. Separate counsel means a separate mediation “party” without regard to issue alignment. In insurance driven cases, a party and its insurers are considered one party unless the coverage issues are so contentious that an extraordinary amount of time is required to deal with coverage issues, additional insured issues, or disputes between multiple carriers. Payments should be made to SureTec Information Systems, Inc. and sent to SureTec Information Systems, Inc., Attn: Mediation Accounting, 9500 Arboretum Blvd., Suite 400, Austin, Texas 78759. Our Federal Taxpayer ID Number is 76-0587786. A W-9 is attached. Unless other arrangements are made or fees paid in advance, I will look to counsel as the responsible party to pay all mediation fees and expenses. We have highlighted the applicable per party fee based on information available to us at the time of scheduling.  Payment is due ten days before the date of mediation unless other arrangements are made. In the event that a mediation is cancelled or postponed, the fees will be returned or held as a retainer for a rescheduled mediation. If the number of parties changes substantially between confirmation and mediation day, the fees will be adjusted accordingly. My fees include all preparation, pre-session conference calls if requested, post-session reasonable follow-up time (if necessary), travel time and expense and lunch (in-person mediations only). I reserve the right to issue supplemental invoices if either pre-mediation preparation or post-mediation follow-up exceeds what is to be reasonably expected. 






Fee Per Party/Day

Fee Per Party/Day


Number of Parties

In Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex  or via Zoom

Any Other City where I can get there and back same day without an overnight stay

Any City requiring one or more overnight stays in order to insure a full day of mediation


















Additional Charges.  Occasionally, it is necessary to incur certain expenses for large, multi-party complex cases. Examples include larger hearing rooms and/or additional caucus rooms, and catered meals. Such expenses will be disclosed in advance and agreed to by the parties before invoiced by the mediator.


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