Creative Mediation Process for Smaller Claims and Shallow Pockets

Some lawsuits do not justify the expense of depositions, motion practice, and Lordy, not trial.  For cases in which the amount in dispute is small or an uninsured defendant does not have much money, lawyers should consider same-room sessions for… Continue Reading

My Bill for Small Claims Court Fairness Becomes Law

Today, Governor Brown signed what remained of my bill to reform small claims court.  Thank you to all who supported the bill. Simply, it permits one spouse to represent both in small claims court. Small claims court, which includes claims… Continue Reading

De-escalating Conflict Through Respectful Communication: 11 Quotations to keep us on track.

De-escalation of conflict is important in mediation and in society.  We can do much simply by treating respectfully those with whom disagree. It is hard.  Often, I want to strike back verbally when I read words that run counter to… Continue Reading

Testimony in Support of Reform to Small Claims Mediation

Chair Prozanski and members of the committee. Background My name is Jeff Merrick.  Since 2012, I have served as a volunteer mediator in small claims court for Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. During that 5 years and over 100 cases, I’ve… Continue Reading

Improving Mediation and Trial Process in Small Claims Court

I drafted a law to improve mediation and trial in small claims courts.  One of the proposals is to allow one spouse to appear for both (so the other can work or take care of the kids).  It passed Oregon’s… Continue Reading