Educational Workshops on Settlement and Dispute Resolution: Another Tool for Self-Represented Litigants in Family Court
27 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2009
This article outlines the need to help self-represented litigants (SLRs or pro se parties) understand more about how they might resolve their disputes through settlement. The article discusses the remarkable growth in the number of people representing themselves in the legal system, particularly in family court. To supplement the existing support system for SLRs, the article proposes including settlement and negotiation educational workshops for SRLs so that they can better understand 1) the prominent role of settlement in our legal system, 2) their power within the settlement process, and 3) some fundamental guidance on how they might approach settlement negotiations. Utilizing existing programs such as self-help centers, and bridging eventually to limited representation programs utilizing lawyers where necessary, educational workshops on settlement for SLRs could be a key piece in helping SRLs navigate their way through court and find appropriate resolution to their disputes.
Keywords: Pro Se Parties, Self-Represented Litigants, Unrepresented Parties, Family Court, Court Reform, Negotiation, ADR, Public Interest, Settlement Workshop, Pro Se Clinic
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