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NCJ Number: 97813 Find in a Library
Title: Small Claims Court - A Reconceptualization of Disputes and an Empirical Investigation
Journal: Law and Society Review  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:(1984)  Pages:515-550
Author(s): N Vidmar
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 36
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this paper disputes are seen as varying along a dimension of admitted liability, that is, the extent to which defendants admit some obligation to plaintiffs; they may admit no liability, partial liability, or full liability. This conceptualization was used in an empirical study of a small claims court.
Abstract: The results paint a portrait of the court that is at variance with most of the previous literature. Consumer issues constitute a substantial portion of the court caseload. On average, defendants, including individual consumers, do well when they dispute claims. Among disputed cases, small rather than large businesses predominate. Prior literature has suggested that, in comparison to adjudication, mediation of claims produces compromise outcomes and higher rates of compliance. This research shows that mediation yields a large percentage of all-or-none results, but to the extent that these is compromise and compliance, it can be partly ascribed to admitted liability characteristics. Some data on defaulted cases are also presented. (Publisher abstract)
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Civil liability; Consumers; Mediation; Small claims courts
Note: Earlier Version of paper presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, Denver, Colorado, June 2, 1983.
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