Small claims cases can be among the most stressful and frustrating that a judge is called on to handle in a court of limited jurisdiction. Litigants with no knowledge of the legal system or its procedures come to your court with fact situations often containing very challenging legal issues. Your job is to take these raw materials and structure them into a meaningful legal process resulting in speedy, inexpensive justice. This faculty-led online course will guide you through the small claims process from pretrial, to trial, to post trial proceedings, and it will help you develop the practical skills for dealing with each aspect of the process.
Why should I take this course?
Many individuals form their perceptions of the justice system through interactions with courts that handle issues such as those found in small claims cases. After this faculty-led online course, you will be able to positively impact the public’s view of court processes.
What will I learn?
During this course, you will learn to:
- Define the role of the Small Claims Court in your community, and articulate your individual philosophy of your role as a Small Claims Court Judge.
- Design and create a bench resource containing materials and information.
- Design and implement a communications plan to guide self-represented litigants through each step of the small claims process.
- More efficiently schedule small claims hearings to decrease stress levels.
- Take steps necessary to set up a mediation program for Small Claims cases.
- Conduct a trial efficiently so that everyone is heard in an orderly and fair fashion.
- Contact an interpreter quickly and inexpensively in a Small Claims trial.
- Identify the issues and expedite the hearing of common Small Claims cases.
- Evaluate and understand the role of the court in considering the proof required for judgments in consumer credit actions.
- Address the issue of appropriate damages in tort cases.
Who should attend?
This course is designed for any justice of the peace or judge who presides over a Small Claims Court or Small Claims cases.
Who are the members of the faculty?
Faculty members are judges recognized as experts in the issues confronting Small Claims Court.
How is this course taught?
Discussion assignments, writing assignments, reading, video and weekly live calls with faculty ensure this course is highly interactive, demanding, and educational. It is anticipated that you will spend between three and four hours on lessons per week, with a total of six weeks of instruction (week four is a break week). On Thursday of each week of the course, the faculty will deliver a live hour-long web conference at 11 am Alaska / 12 pm Pacific / 1 pm Mountain / 2 pm Central / 3 pm Eastern.
What should I tell my presiding judge or funding agency so that my attendance will be approved?
At times, the substantive issues in small claims cases can be complex. This course will enable you to handle those cases, and your court, more proficiently, enhancing your community’s perception of the courts.
Whom should I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (800) 255-8343 or email@example.com.
This course qualifies for The National Judicial College Certificate in Judicial Development program Dispute Resolution Skills, General Jurisdiction Trial Skills, Special Court Trial Skills and Tribal Judicial Skills disciplines.