Students will be assisting clients to develop, file, and present cases against abusive businesses, primarily through the small claims court system. Students will be called upon to interview clients, gather facts and evidence, and analyze the strength of the client’s case as well as the collectability of the potential judgment. This will include researching the legal claims and defenses in a broad variety of substantive consumer law, as well as the true name of the business and the appropriate manner of serving the business with a lawsuit.
If there is a viable claim, students will present the client with the options, likelihood of success, and potential outcomes. Students will then assist the client to draft demand and dispute letters, to prepare the small claims demand, and to advise the client on how to properly serve the demand.
Students will then prepare the client to present the case at the small claims hearing, including preparing for the pre-hearing negotiations. This will include preparing the client to concisely present the evidence required to win their case, as well as to rebut potential defenses and counterclaims.
Students might also assist the client in post-judgment recovery.
When possible, students will work with the same clients throughout the clients’ cases, allowing students to see a case through from start to finish.
Supervision: Students in CRW will provide pro bono legal services under the supervision of Berkeley Law’s clinical partner, the East Bay Community Law Center.
Time Commitment: 4 hours/meeting. Bi-weekly.
For more information, please contact the student leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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