Project for Universal Justice in America (PUJA) Changing the way disputes get resolved

Did you know?

  • The United States ranks 65th (along with Botswana, Ecuador, Pakistan, and Turkey) in civil justice access and affordability, out of 102 countries surveyed by The World Justice Project, 2015.
  • Nationally more than 80% of low-income families' legal needs go unmet.
  • Roughly two thirds of legal aid seekers are turned away each year for lack of resources.
  • Opportunities for free or low-cost legal assistance vary tremendously by state and county, according to the American Bar Association's Access Across America study.
  • Pro se cases are on the rise (especially in divorce and custody), burdening the court system and typically turning out badly for the self-represented.
  • Nearly a third of low-income individuals don't try to collect money they're owed.They've given up.

Statistics like these paint a grim picture of American civil justice.

What we're doing to help

PeopleClaim's Project for Universal Justice in America promotes low-cost alternative dispute resolution for people whose civil complaints are impractical for lawyers or legal aid services to handle. Our goal is to help make access to justice equal and universal — regardless of a person's income, location, legal knowledge, or access to legal counsel.

PUJA is working with universities, public and private non-profit organizations, as well as law firms, to provide a viable "PlanB" for anyone who can't afford or find legal representation for their civil justice issues.

PUJA also provides a community-based "social mediation" platform that invites the public to help resolve disputes online, as a way of removing cost and other constraints that inhibit access to justice.

How it works: Community-based online dispute resolution
  1. Plaintiff files a claim at and has it post online if not resolved within 10-day private negotiation period. It's simple, easy to understand, and takes about 12 minutes on average. Some claims settle within days or even hours of filing; others take more time.
  2. If unresolved in ten days the claimant has the option to post the claim online for public review and comment by our community of public mediators. (There's an $14.99 filing fee for public posting, which can be waived in hardship cases.)
  3. Once posted, our community of public mediators can review, comment, and suggest resolutions to help bring the parties together and get the case resolved. Crowdsourcing generates creativity and choice, which helps the parties find the best and fairest resoluton to the dispute. Claims remain posted until they're settled to the claimant's satisfaction.
  4. Either party can add a cash reward* to give additional incentive for engagement by our public mediators, who compete to find the best solution to the claim. Cash rewards are optional and recipients are invited to donate their winnings to our nonprofit organizations that help promote civil justice and /or consumer rights.
    Add your name to our list of donation recipients

Our goal is to make dispute resolution affordable and universally accessible by inviting the public to participate in the dispute resolution process. Community-based disputed resolution helps increase public participation – and competition to find solutions that better align with public perceptions of fairness in specific cases, and sometimes corporate policy.

We invite legal and consumer advocacy organizations to join in the social mediation process and help promote access to civil justice.

Become part of PeopleClaim's Project for Universal Justice in America.
Special benefits for PUJA's participating legal services providers and consumer advocacy members.
  1. Help the public learn more about your organization. Your name will appear as a link on our Champions of Justice list, a group of qualified legal aid, pro bono organizations, and consumer advocacy groups participating in the Project for Universal Justice in America.
  2. Receive donations. Public mediators who win cash rewards for helping resolve cases have the option (and our encouragement) to donate their rewards to organizations on the PUJA list.
  3. Refer cases you can't represent. Referring such cases to PUJA for community-based resolution is a compassionate and socially responsible way to expand public justice when you're unable to advocate on their behalf.
  4. Join our pilot program to explore and promote community-based ADR as a viable alternative for civil cases that can't find or afford legal representation. Our goal is to work with universities and nonprofit groups as well as private law firms to promote a viable Plan B for cases "orphaned" by traditional legal channels.
  5. ATIP internship program. Take advantage of the Advocacy Training for Interns Program (ATIP). Law schools, law firms, and public justice organizations can provide a mediation internship experience for students or staff through ATIP. Interns gain practical mediation skills online helping resolve a wide variety of real-world commercial disputes. Learn more

In using PeopleClaim's online dispute resolution services you understand that PeopleClaim cannot guarantee results. Your case may be debated by our affiliated public participants. You agree to hold PeopleClaim and any referring party harmless for any issues arising from your use of our social media platform.

PeopleClaim is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. You are fully responsible for your negotiation with any opposing parties in your complaint.

*Where do cash rewards come from in community-mediated cases?
  1. Either party can add a cash reward to help source public solutions. (Cash rewards may also come from third-party viewers or community members who want to see a case resolved. PeopleClaim itself will occasionally donate cash rewards to cases with social significance.)
  2. Rewards typically range from $10-$1000, with most in the $20-$50 range. In some cases they can be combined if there are multiple claims against the same party – as in class actions, where one solution resolves several claims.
  3. PeopleClaim only posts cash rewards after payment by the donor. In the rare case a donor withdraws a cash reward or requests a refund, PeopleClaim is not liable for amounts posted.
  4. The party putting up a cash reward decides who receives it and on what basis — generally to the person or persons whose resolution suggestion(s) lead to settlement of the dispute.
  5. Community mediators who win cash rewards have the option to receive the rewards or donate them to qualified recipient organizations. In general, PeopleClaim will suggest that reward winners donate to organizations active in furthering access to civil justice. Note: PeopleClaim cannot guarantee the amount or frequency of such donations, which are at the sole discretion of reward winners.
  6. In addition to rewards for successful resolution suggestions, claiming parties can specify a donation to a worthy cause in their terms of settlement – or they may opt to direct any cash settlement to charities of their choice. PeopleClaim lists organizations committed to increasing access to civil justice as options in such cases. Note: PeopleClaim does not review donations or take responsibilty for use of funds directed to Champions of Justice members.