The Use of Mediation in Small Claims Courts

40 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2008  

H. Jay Folberg

University of San Francisco - School of Law

Joshua D. Rosenberg

University of San Francisco School of Law

Susan E. Raitt

Federal Trade Commission

Robert Barrett

Collaborative Decisions

Abstract

This article examines the use of mediation in small claims courts in the United States as a whole, and more particularly, in California. It specifically assesses whether these programs have been successful, analyzes potential problems with these programs, and makes recommendations on how small claims courts can better use alternative dispute resolution. The article asserts that advance planning and a critical assessment of needs and purposes are the most important elements in determining the form of small claims ADR that will work best in a particular setting. The resources available will also play a major role in shaping the ADR program. Because filing formal civil complaints is still perceived as necessary to induce bargaining, the article concludes by noting that it is important that mediation procedures be tied into small claims courts as well as being made available independently of such courts.

Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, mediation, small claims courts, California courts

Suggested Citation

Folberg, H. Jay and Rosenberg, Joshua D. and Raitt, Susan E. and Barrett, Robert, The Use of Mediation in Small Claims Courts. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1993. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1108605

H. Jay Folberg

University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Joshua D. Rosenberg (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Susan E. Raitt

Federal Trade Commission ( email )

Northeast Regional Office
One Bowling Green, Suite 318
New York, NY 10004
United States

Robert Barrett

Collaborative Decisions ( email )

United States

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