Every year, as many as 75 million Americans cited for minor charges such as unpaid traffic fines are issued warrants—and forced to have their day in court. Typically, the experience is frustrating, confusing, timeconsuming and expensive.
But that could soon change, thanks to an online mediation system developed by a U-M law professor and his former student. The idea for Court Innovations took shape in 2011 when Professor J. J. Prescott and third-year law student Ben Gubernick began discussing social issues stemming from inefficient access to the courts. As Gubernick explains, “Ninety-five percent of the cases making their way through the justice system involve minor criminal offenses that allow judges and prosecutors to exercise their discretion.