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 LAD conducts free small claims workshop

Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc. (LAD) conducted a free workshop for residents of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties on how to represent themselves in small claims court and collect money judgments on March 11 at Madison Heights Public Library.

 Kelly Bidelman, managing attorney of LAD’s Oakland County office in Pontiac, conducted the workshop. 
 
“Small claims court is a way of resolving cases of $5000 or less,” Bidelman said.

When suing in small claims court, a plaintiff waives certain rights, however, Bidelman said, including the right to be represented by an attorney, the right to a jury trial, and the right to appeal the judge’s decision.

 The defendant has the option of removing the case to the district court’s general civil docket, Bidelman said, “but you also have the right to change your mind and remove your case to the general docket.”

Suits seeking damages of up to $25,000 are filed in district court, Bidelman said. Suits seeking damages of more than $25,000 are filed in circuit court.

The workshop featured a presentation on mediation options by Megan Dennis, a mediation specialist with Oakland Mediation Center (OMC).

“Mediation is an alternative to going to court,” Dennis said. “Instead of having a winner and a loser, each side can win a little.”
 

Online guide to ABA-approved law schools provides public data

The American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has published the online Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, containing all of the data that the section requires accredited law schools to publicly report each year. This year’s guide provides information collected from law schools in the fall of 2013.
 
The online Official Guide includes information on admissions data; tuition and fees, living costs, and financial aid; conditional scholarships; enrollment data; numbers of full-time and part-time faculty, professional librarians and administrators; class sizes for first-year and upper-class courses; number of seminar, clinical and co-curricular offerings; employment outcomes; and Bar passage data.

Learn more at http://www.americanbar.org/ groups/legal_education/resources/aba_approved_law_schools/official-guide-to-aba-approved-law-schools.html