Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.

Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.
613 Abbott Street
Detroit, MI 48226

August 22, 2012

With photos

Legal Aid and Defender’s workshops on small claims court grow in popularity

DETROIT – Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.’s (LAD’s) workshop on small claims court Aug. 14 at Southfield Public Library attracted more than 100 people, the largest attendance since LAD began conducting workshops on the subject in April.

“The growing popularity of our workshops shows there’s a growing number of people in the community who are attempting to resolve legal disputes in small claims court,” Michele Hall, deputy chief counsel of LAD’s Civil Law Group, said. “These workshops are part of our new broad-based advocacy initiative designed to educate the community regarding their legal rights and remedies.”

Small claims court is a judicial process in district courts for settling money disputes of $3,000 or less. The limit will be raised to $5,000 in September. LAD’s workshops are designed to teach residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties how to represent themselves in the courts and collect money judgments.

Although parties to small claims actions cannot be represented by attorneys, LAD encourages them to consult with an attorney before going to court, according to Nicole Goodson, staff attorney in LAD’s Oakland County office in Pontiac, who conducted the Aug. 14 workshop.

Guest speaker Megan McCoy, civil mediation program coordinator for the Oakland Mediation Center (http://www.mediation-omc.org), explained how attendees could use mediation as an alternative to filing suit in small claims court.

LAD conducted three workshops on small claims court during the spring, then scheduled three more for the summer based on their popularity. The Aug. 14 workshop was the second in the summer series. The third will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights.

Registration for the Sept. 18 workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. The workshop will begin promptly at 6:00 and run to 8:00. For further information, contact Gina Polley, deputy chief counsel of LAD’s Civil Law Group, at (313) 967-5638 or GPolley@ladadetroit.org.

LAD is Michigan’s largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income residents. It serves metropolitan Detroit through its offices in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. It also represents criminal defendants in Wayne County and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Including brief consultations and comprehensive legal services, the public law firm handles some 15,000 legal matters yearly.

“We work with clients in a comprehensive manner, so that as we solve their legal problems, we help solve other problems as well,” LAD President and CEO Deierdre L. Weir said. “We help people rebuild their lives and help families stay together.”

Anyone seeking legal services can call (877) 964-4700 or visit http://www.ladadetroit.org.
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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

More than 70 people attended Legal Aid and Defender Association’s workshop on small claims court Aug. 14 at Southfield Public Library. (Photo by John Meiu)

Nicole Goodson, a staff attorney in Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Oakland County office in Pontiac; conducted the workshop on small claims court Aug. 14 at Southfield Public Library. (Photo by John Meiu)

Speakers at Legal Aid and Defender Association’s (LAD’s) workshop on small claims court Aug. 14 at Southfield Public Library were (left to right) Megan McCoy, civil mediation program coordinator for the Oakland Mediation Center; Nicole Goodson, a staff attorney in LAD’s Oakland County office in Pontiac; and Michele Hall-Edwards, deputy chief counsel of LAD’s Civil Law Group. (Photo by John Meiu)

CONTACTS:
Roger Lennert
Legal Aid and Defender Association
(313) 967-5607
(313) 587-3077 cell
rlennert@ladadetroit.org

David Adrian
Adrian & Associates
(248) 322-9226
(248) 515-4607 cell
david.adrian@adrianassoc.com