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Small Claims Court Resources for Oregon Lawyers: CLEs, Video, Books, History

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We have lots of OLR blog posts for the public about Oregon Small Claims Courts (SCC), but this particular OLR blog post addresses the most frequently asked SCC questions from Oregon attorneys:

Small Claims Courts? County Circuit and Justice Courts will have on-site or website information about their respective Justice & Small Claims Courts, including forms, FAQs, court rules, etc.

Current CLEs? Check with OSB, OSB sections, MBA, and OLI for Small Claims Court CLEs for current MCLE credit.

Past SCC CLEs? The Washington County Law Library has PDFs from 2 previous CLE PowerPoint presentations, courtesy of Judge Todd (Multnomah County Circuit Court Pro Tem Judge). Email the Law Library to request copies.

Books? “Using Small Claims Court in Oregon.” by Janay Haas, 2012. Public libraries and public law libraries have copies of this book, but, live a little: buy yourself a copy. It won’t break the bank and you won’t regret it: Order from the Oregon Legal Guides website.

Also, “Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court,” by Ralph Warner, Nolo (various editions – please visit the Nolo website for current edition and updates. Many public libraries will have this book in their collections.) (This book is not Oregon-specific.)

Articles? “It can be a jungle in there: a litigants view of Small Claims Court,” by Janay Haas, Oregon State Bar Bulletin, August/September 2014, pp. 19-25. (Well worth reading, especially if you’re a lawyer who wants to know how courts, lawyers, and our judicial system look from the public’s point of view. Spoiler Alert: It’s not pretty and will debunk, as I can too, just about everything you assumed about the accessibility and fairness of “people’s courts.”

History? Small Claims Court Resources: Oregon Laws (1915, 1917), SCC Bibliographies, and my own small claims court / people’s court bibliography.

Videos? The Oregon State Bar (OSB) videotaped this Wednesday, November 7th, 2013, Small Claims Court program that we presented at the Beaverton City Library,  “All Rise! Take Your Case to Oregon Small Claims Court,” with program presenters:

Honorable Steven A. Todd, Judge Pro Tem, Multnomah County Circuit Court
Janay Haas, Oregon attorney and author of Using Small Claims Court in Oregon
Laura Orr, Program Moderator, Washington County Law Library Director

Small Claims Court Coaches: You can sign up to be a Small Claims Court Coach with the OSB Referral Service. (Many Oregon lawyers also serve as Small Claims Court pro tem and volunteer judges – there’s a lot of experience among them – take one to lunch if you’re interested in learning about coaching small claims court clients or testing your skill at judging in small claims court. It’s way more difficult than it looks.)

Judge Judy: Don’t ever underestimate Judge Judy. And, for heaven’s sake, please don’t overestimate Oregon small claims court clients who think watching Judge Judy is all they need to do to prepare their cases in Oregon Small Claims Courts. Yeesh.