I once sat on a jury where for a full week, day after day, I listened to painstakingly detailed and boring testimony regarding a construction renovation gone wrong. My fellow jury members and I debated for less than 2 hours at the conclusion of the rather lengthy testimony, and unanimously concluded that both the owner and the contractor were at fault. The awards we granted to each of them almost zero-ed out. Both sides had their day in court, but at what cost?
The courts have been the center of our dispute resolution system since our Constitution was adopted. We expect, as a fundamental right, the ability to go to court to address our disputes and seek justice. Yet, millions of Americans are unable to access or navigate the judicial system, mostly due to financial reasons. This article explores how mediation can play a part in providing access to justice for those with limited means. Continue reading “Mediation as a means to access justice for the moderate income client”