You probably didn't know that there's a convenient, inexpensive way of getting satisfaction from the merchant who gives you the runaround when you ask him to replace or repair the rotten lemon he sold you or the landlord who won't disgorge the security deposit after you turn over an unmarred apartment or the drycleaner who points to his ""Liability for Damages Limited to $10"" sign after scorching your new Cardin blazer. Instead of gnashing your teeth and thinking vengeful thoughts, you can sue in Small Claims Court. This practical consumer's handbook makes it clear that you don't need a lawyer to win. Small Claims Courts were established to provide a judicial forum in cases too small to warrant the expense and complexity of standard legal procedures. At the cost of a filing fee that's rarely more than five dollars and a few hours spent in court, you may well be able to retrieve the cost of that toaster (or whatever) while deriving a good deal of righteous pleasure from not letting the b*st*rds get away with it this time. Matthews is a lawyer who writes English instead of lawyerese. Hurray. He tells you what you can do and how to do it, elucidating as much law as the subject requires and providing pragmatic advice on such crucial issues as avoiding continuances and keeping the judge on your side. He sees Small Claims Court as a powerful tool for vindicating the rights of individual consumers, but also suggests that strategic suits can even result in some corporate housecleaning, as in the case of the New York City phone user who sued Ma Bell for the cost of some 60 hours of his valuable time wasted by wrong numbers and crossed wires. An eminently lucid, constructive book.