The case provided enough of a
cliff-hanger to keep the auditorium
nearly as full after lunch as it was
before. Despite the drama, the judge
declined to award the man the $900
he asked for, chiding him that if
there was a theft he should have
called the police. When the man then
claimed the gift was actually a loan,
the judge dismissed the case with a
tap of his gavel.
“I had no idea that they had the
opportunity to mediate, which I think
is great,” Capital High junior Emily
Jackson said in the hallway between
hearings. “It’s interesting to connect
with the facts of the case and see
how people frame their arguments. It
connects with real life and makes the
system easier to understand.”
Sean Swett, also a junior, said he
had never been in a courtroom to see
the law at work. Watching the day’s
drama unfold on stage in Whoville left
him with at least one important lesson.
“I found it very interesting,” he said. “I
know now to make sure you document
Once the last of the students filed in and took
their seats, the 400-capacity auditorium
was nearly full, and the place buzzed with
giggles and hormones.
A mediator listens to both
sides of the story. He claims
she took $900 from his
wallet. She says it was $300
and it was a gift he left on
the coffee table.
Retired Judge Sue Dubuisson, a volunteer mediator with the Dispute Resolution
Center of Thurston County, explains the pros and cons of going to trial.