$0.00 – $6.00
Three-person small claims mediation between a homeowner and repair company regarding unfinished roof repair
Rudfurd's Home Repairs was contacted by John Smithfield to perform an estimate on porch repairs. Upon the arrival of the company workers, it was determined that a hole would have to be placed in the top of the ceiling of the porch in order to assess the extent of the wood rot. The Smithfields had no problem with this, as long as the hole could be repaired. A communication breakdown occurred between the Smithfields and Rudfurd surrounding the repair of the hole and Mr. Smithfield has filed a claim in small claims court.
This mediation exercise takes about 10-15 minutes for reading and preparation. It is a one-on-one simulation and takes approximately 20-45 minutes for the actual mediation. Videotaping can be helpful for self-evaluation and group review. "A Brief Outline of the Mediation Process," in Other Materials, is useful as background reading for the mediator. "An Actual Small Claims Mediated Agreement," is useful as follow-up reading, especially if mediators have been asked to draft any agreement reached. (Hand this out after the mediators have finished their own try at drafting).
- This case is useful as a teaching tool for small claims mediators. Mediators can test their skills in dealing with parties who feel that court is a waste of time and the procedural process invalidates the notion of fairness.
- Participants should be able to generate creative options after assessing the interests of the participants involved. It is appropriate to use objective criteria and to also consider Smithfield's BATNA.
- In considering the meeting design, the mediator can should assess the value of caucuses, as well as test his or her skill in making the parties view and understand the other party's interests.
Confidential Information for:
- Basic Fact Sheet for Mediator
- All of the above
Anchoring; Assumptions; Commitment; Communication; Credibility; Drafting; Fairness; Information exchange; Interpersonal skills; Legitimacy; Mediation; Meeting design; Message analyst; Misrepresentation; Nonverbal communication; Objective criteria; Options, generating; Personality; Reality testing
Smithfield v. Rudfurd's Home Repairs Attributes
|Time required:||30 minutes - 1 hour|
|Number of participants:||3|
|Neutral third party present:||Mediator|
|Teaching notes available:||No|