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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Lawsuits by Victoria E. Green

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Why Can’t I Have a Jury?

For the same reason that many states don’t allow attorneys in small claims court, many states also don’t allow jury trials in small claims court. Jury trials take more time and more court resources than trials presided over by a judge or magistrate. Because courts have limited resources, they’re charged with using them as wisely as possible. For small claims cases, jury trials aren’t seen as the best use of those resources. The decision has been made that, in general, it’s better to try to solve a small claims dispute with a hearing by a judge or magistrate, or even mediation.

Small Claims Mediation

Frequently, small claims courts have mandatory mediation. Local attorneys often act as volunteer mediators. If the mediation ...

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