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Showing posts from August, 2019

MEANINGFUL MEDIATIONS WITH PRO SE PARTIES

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Can you mediate with pro se parties … meaningfully?
40% of State Court litigants are pro se.  (“Pro se” means individuals or corporations who do not hire an attorney to represent them in the dispute)  20% of federal court litigants are pro se.  Staggeringly high numbers, right?
I mediate cases with pro se parties and, while some of my colleagues will not, I will.  Pro se parties want and need to participate in mediation; it is part of the larger system of justice in our country so I accept mediations directly with the parties.  However, my first comment to the pro se parties is that they should consider hiring a lawyer and I give them referrals to the State and local bar associations.  Sometimes, the party cannot afford or find a lawyer willing to take the case and yes, this usually means the case is weak.  No surprise--good cases are snapped up by good lawyers.  Other pro se parties think they do not need legal representation.  (Most times they are wrong.)
My second comment is to ex…