Wisconsin Judicare, Inc., in conjunction with the judges of Marathon County, is creating a pilot project to interface with the Marathon County Court System to offer mediation services in a variety of civil cases. After training of mediators, the program will begin January 1, 2018.

Kimberly Haas, Executive Director of Wisconsin Judicare, said the new program is designed to help relieve the court system of cases primarily involving pro-se litigants, that is those who can’t afford an attorney, before they reach the courts. “Many people enter the legal system without counsel. They don’t understand the process and the potential ramifications. Mediation will offer a chance for both plaintiffs and defendants to avoid the court system and solve their issues in a variety of cases including housing, family, and small claims cases.”

Training of volunteer mediators will take place on September 11-14, 2017. The forty- hour course will teach volunteers mediation skills and offer opportunities for hands on training. The cost is free with a flexible commitment to serve for one year. Interested volunteers should contact rwestgate@judicare.org for more information.

Support for this pilot project was provided through the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation, the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Ruder Ware L.L.S.C., and a variety of individuals and businesses.

Wisconsin Judicare, Inc. is a provider of free legal services to low-income citizens in the northern 33 counties and 11 federally recognized Native American tribes in Wisconsin who need an attorney to represent them when faced with civil legal issues and can’t afford to hire an attorney on their own.