Special Topics in Small Claims for Magistrates

    This course is sponsored by NC Administrative Office of the Courts.

    This seminar focuses on a different topic each year allowing a “deep dive” into skill-building and substantive law for small claims magistrates at various stages in their careers. It satisfies one of the five requirements for small claims certification. The 2021 topic is Conducting Trial, and magistrates will receive hands-on instruction and practice in

    • anticipating, preventing, and resolving common procedural issues in small claims court;
    • evaluating evidence in terms of relevance, significance, validity, and reliability at trial;
    • developing personalized checklists, scripts, and standardized practices to improve consistency and confidence in conducting court;
    • understanding, identifying and skillfully responding to the needs and expectations of various litigants as well as attorneys;
    • entering judgment.


    Additional information

    Attendees: NC magistrates holding Small Claims Court

    Credit: Magistrate CLEs and NC Bar CLEs (pending approval)

    CEU18.00 hrs
    There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.


    Module 1: Course Overview, Learning Objectives, & Small Claims from the POV of the Other Players

    Module 2: Focus on You & How You Begin

    Module 3: Preparing for Court: Before You Hear the Evidence

    Module 4: Hearing the Case: Order of Presentation & Essential Elements

    Module 5: Evidence: Eliciting Information, Asking Questions, Listening to Answers, & Assessing Credibility

    Module 6: Evaluating Evidence: Relevance, Weight, Significance

    Module 7: Attorneys & The Rules of Evidence

    Module 8: Entering Judgment & Transitioning to the Next Phase

    Module 9: What We Didn't Get To & Developing a Plan for Change

    For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

    Dale Zuckert

    Assistant Registrar
    For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

    Jessica Schoonmaker

    Program Manager, Courts Group
    Donna Lewandowski
    Teaching Associate Professor of Public Law and Government