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The Pitfall of Small Claims Court
Nov. 7, 2013
Small claims court can be a great place for people to resolve their differences. I often recommend that people go there. However, if you are confronted by a problem with a business, you need to be careful going to small claims. Keep in mind that the business will almost always have more experience than you do and will know how to operate in the courtroom. Also, they often will be given the benefit of the doubt if there is a factual dispute with an individual. Finally, once the small claims court has resolved the matter, while further adjudication is possible, it can be difficult.
In California, it is financially possible to take dispute for small amounts of money to Superior Court because of one-way fee-shifting statutes. These statutes require defendants to pay for your attorney fees, and lower the risk that a loss will cost you money.
Before you decide what kind of court you ought to take your case to, you should talk to a lawyer. Free consultations are available at my firm and at many others. Discuss the matter with a professional or even two, so that you can make an informed choice.