Legal writing–crafting motions and pleadings–can be a lesson in frustration. Yet, as the only opportunity to speak to the judge, proper motions can be a case-saver for self-represented litigants. If you’re prepared to take on this challenge, here are a few pointers to get you started.
Sometimes when a thing starts to fall apart, it does so gradually. No one recognizes the damage for what it is until the thing is in tatters. Or, people recognize that the thing is falling apart and are not fully aware of how to fix it. After all, it worked for a long time. In the latter case, they prop it up with […]
Self-represented civil litigants often find themselves at a disadvantage in court. A number of factors contribute to this, including unfamiliarity with the legal process, lack of training and disdain held by some lawyers and even judges for pro se litigants. Want a fighting chance with the court system? Go into court with a certain demeanor. Some […]
So many articles, blogs and blog comments by lawyers bemoan the presence of self-represented litigants in court. Let’s take a look at the other side. As American citizens who want to represent themselves in court, pro se litigants often have to cope with supercilious lawyers. Maybe arrogant, disdainful or smug behavior from lawyers stems from law school […]
What happens when a huge number of people in your state have too much income to get pro bono help and too little of it to hire a lawyer? What happens when these and other pro se litigants increase in number? Such an influx requires practical solutions. The National Center for State Courts, developed a […]
The increase in the number of pro se litigants has sparked recent innovations by clerks and judges. Just a decade or so ago, pro se litigants had few resources for assistance with their cases. Now, they have many more resources. They can, for instance, make use of court-sponsored self-help sites. The sites feature links to laws, […]
The ongoing deterioration of the legal system in the US and its negative effects on citizens seeking to defend themselves in court extends to the highest reaches of the judiciary. While it’s true that the poor state of the judiciary is not news (take the Bush v. Gore debacle as one glaring example), the Supreme Court […]