Wouldn’t you like to go into court with a posse, a team of people to come to your aid when you need them? While there’s nothing quite like a sports team in litigation, you can have a ragtag legal team as long as you don’t go all formal about it. And if you need help representing yourself in civil court, it’s time to join Courtroom5.
Courtroom5’s pleas to always take a court reporter to court have found major support in the judiciary. The California Supreme Court recently provided a much needed shot in the arm to indigent and moderate income litigants in Jameson v. Desta. Citing access to justice concerns, the court ruled unanimously that indigent litigants are entitled to free court reporters.
Pro se litigants who make big mistakes lose badly and quickly. This is most often due to lack of knowledge, but judicial bias and lawyer tricks add another layer of peril. To stay alive, avoid these 6 mistakes that could cost you your case.
There are few things more delightful than watching self-represented defendants handle plaintiff’s lawyers and the judges who love them. For good reasons, a court reporter is almost always present when that happens. It’s a rare joy, but I got to see it twice last month.
Everybody hates litigation. You just want it to end quickly, especially when you’re the defendant. A good motion to dismiss can make that happen, but the threshold is very high. The typical strategy is to attack the sufficiency of a complaint, to show that a required fact has not been alleged. If you focus solely on what’s contained within the four corners of the complaint, you just might find that one weakness that gets the case dismissed.
The last thing you feel like doing after you discover you’re being sued is to figure out what to do. We’ve done the work for you. Starting with doing nothing for at least a day to get your emotions in check, here are 9 things to do when you have been served with a civil complaint. These steps are geared toward gaining the time you need to level the playing field and prepare a proper defense.
If you don’t prepare for your day in court, you’re preparing for an ambush. Opposing lawyers want to leapfrog over any issues favorable to you and get a quick win. The judge also wants a quick resolution of the case and will take any shortcuts to get you off the docket. Expect them both to lay traps for a naive pro se litigant.
Having learned the hard way how to prepare for a hearing, here’s my list of do’s.
Losing a case on appeal is painful, especially when you represent yourself. The judge is an idiot, or biased, usually both. But you assume you’re dealing with professionals on a higher court. When they come back with a decision affirming the lower court, it stings, it bites, it stinks… it happens. Getting a lower court’s […]
Judicial tyranny is an ugly thing to see. The term usually refers to so-called “activist” judges who interpret the Constitution with no regard to the opinions of a democratic majority. But that’s actually what an independent judiciary is supposed to do. Real judicial tyranny occurs when a judge acts as his or her own law, […]