HOW YOU CAN SUE WITHOUT HIRING A LAWYER: A Guide to Winning in Small Claims Court by John N. & Andrew O. Shapiro Striker
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HOW YOU CAN SUE WITHOUT HIRING A LAWYER: A Guide to Winning in Small Claims Court

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Useful advice on how to handle gripes that are ""too big to ignore but too small to justify the expense of legal counsel."" Attorneys Striker and Shapiro open with general procedural pointers (jurisdictional dollar limits in small claims court, where to sue, etc.) and stress the importance of trying to reach a pretrial settlement. Their discussion of the ""settle or else"" letter is especially informative: sending your adversary a summary of your claim and demanding payment may seem a pro forma and futile gesture, but the letter serves as a ""mini-brief"" and can usually be introduced in court. The ins and outs of settlement negotiations are also covered in detail. Overall, Striker and Shapiro downplay you-can-do-it psychological boosting and focus instead on how to attack 34 commonly-encountered types of disputes--from broken contracts to personal injury to product warranties and consumer fraud. Curiously (since Striker and Shapiro co-authored Super Tenant), relatively little emphasis is given to landlord-tenant problems, but there are informative chapters on such specialized areas as disputes with drycleaners, disappearance of garments from coat-checkrooms, and damage to your car in a parking garage. Bank problems receive unusual attention--wrongful bouncing of checks, failure to stop payment, errors in monthly statements--in a series of clearly-written chapters that succeed in making Article 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code relatively understandable, no mean feat. As good, if not better than Ralph Warner's commendable Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court (1980)--because it covers many more specific problem areas.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1981
Publisher: Simon & Schuster