Handbook to help students resolve disputes, conflicts

By Kevin Lyons

Students can learn more about whether or not to sue their roommate for emotional distress or other legal matters from a new handbook compiled by Students’ Legal Assistance.

The “Dispute Resolution Handbook” was recently published by student legal counsels Don Henderson and Lynn Richards to offer guidelines in dealing with conflicts.

“It’s useful for students having disputes with other students or people outside the university,” said Sharon Scott, law clerk for Students’ Legal Assistance.

Scott, along with co-workers Anna Delsol and Jane Tomkins, also contributed to the handbook.

The handbook is divided into three areas—negotiation, mediation and small claims court.

There are a number of guidelines to follow for the complete dispute settlement process, from writing demand letters to appealing a lost case.

Some of the tips include preparing for a small claims court trial, gathering and organizing evidence and witnesses, courtroom demeanor and presenting your case.

“The book offers a number of different steps and tools for dispute settling,” Scott said.

A limited number of copies of the “Dispute Resolution Handbook” are available in the Students’ Legal Assistance Office and the Office of the Ombudsman, both in the Holmes Student Center.