Lance Soskin, Toronto 09/28/13
Response to comment
As I mentioned in my article, free mediation is not necessarily free as often parties have to be litigants, as you point out, which requires parties to pay to file a claim and go through the first part of the litigation process with all that it entails.
You are right that not all Magistrates are lawyers or have law degrees - this requirement depends on the jurisdiction. Some require it and some do not.
Doug , Cohasset MA 09/28/13
Small Claims Cost Article
Interesting article and breakdown of costs. It is, as you note, a different situation where, as here, courts offer mediation services free to the litigants. There is, of course, still the question for parties to consider which venue will most effectively advance their interests. Small point: The article implies that clerk magistrates do not have to be attorneys but magistrates do. Not necessarily. Judges--even US Supreme Court judges--do not have to be lawyers.
Lance Soskin, Toronto 03/16/13
Thank you for your kind words.
I don't understand your question. I'm not saying it necessarily be implemented in the courts, although ADR in the Justice System would be very helpful. It's a matter of educating the public so that they are aware that there are alternatives to litigation.
Jack , Camarillo CA JulianJinjur@gmail.com 03/14/13
SCC VS Mediation
I found you article very informative and interesting. I attended mediation training in June 2012 and have been a volunteer mediator in Small claims Court for the past 8 months.Our mediation success rate is about 80%, so we save the courts a lot of time, and money.
What I cannot understand from your article is how you implement the program you are suggesting. Because the Plaintiff initiates and files the claim with SCC, how would they become aware there is an alternative process: mediation?