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<xTITLE>Small Claims And Mediators</xTITLE>

Small Claims And Mediators

by Leo Hura

From the Small Claims Courts blog of Leo Hura.

Leo Hura

At a presentation to new mediator's a question was asked "why mediate at small claims court?".  Besides learning a lot about the community, here are a couple of reasons that come to mind.

Think about it. The rules of evidence, do they apply?  Do people exaggerate or flat out lie? They present their persepective for the purposes of winning their case.   You learn quickly how not to be manipulated.

If you can get to issues and needs, come up with a common problem statement, find common ground, and reach agreement in twenty minutes, you're not going to miss a thing in 3 or more hours in longer mediations. 

You're dealing with people as pro se or with their attorney's.  You learn to work in both scenario's. 

You're performing a critical function in not only understanding the case but in negotiations with people who do not have the skills but can kind of tell you their issues and needs.  When you reframe, reflect, etc. you provide the focus, the spark they need to articulate their position which opens a door for them to negotiate. 

You provide a sense of reality. 

If you do the above well you gain the clients respect, agreement or no agreement, win or lose. 

And, you really do help the court. 

Mediators valuing these skills benefit mightily by participating in these programs paid, or as a volunteer.


Leo Hura, Mediator -JD - Facilitator -Conflict Resolution Training Program Developer practices mediation out of Honolulu Hawaii.  An experienced mediator Leo has turned his atttention to developing training programs designed to inform, educate, and promote the use of peaceful means for avoiding, preventing, resolving conflict in business with business, business with client, and interpersonal relationships.

Leo writes extensively on his blogs, has written two booklets for clients on mediatin and small claims court claims, and numerous articels about the practice and use of colalborative means to resolve conflict.

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