Representing yourself in litigation is one of the more complex jobs you’ll have, so it’s important to make things simple when you can. You can find guidance everywhere, even in everyday tasks like doing the dishes.
It’s not that hard to keep your case on its feet. Even when the law and facts aren’t on your side, you don’t have to lose by knockout. Hear these cries for help from your case, and take its advice to get back in the ring and fight.
After five months with no activity, you’re slapped with a summary judgment motion that could end your case prematurely, and not in your favor. You could’ve prepared, but you’d decided to let things die down and respond as necessary. Now you’re paying for it. It’s always better to stay on offense when you’re engaged in battle.
As pro se litigants, we often dive into the courtroom without understanding the claims we’re fighting. The essential step in developing a litigation strategy is to understand the element of each claim and each affirmative defense. Just as you don’t make cement without iron, don’t file a claim or assert a defense without the proper elements.
Representing yourself doesn’t make you an expert in the law. You’re not expected to know everything, and you don’t. But mistakes can be costly. In many places, you can hire a lawyer for everything from legal research to arguing a motion in court. Don’t let your pride keep you from getting the help you need.
Analyze your case to create an effective litigation strategy. It’s a process of finding the elements of each claim and defense, and testing them against available facts and evidence. Bonus: It’s not rocket science.
It’s easy to defeat yourself with self-sabotage or incompetence. But can you draw a roadmap to help your opponent defeat you? And why on earth would you want to do that? The answer is simple: It’s good defense. If you can block all paths to your defeat before your opponent finds them, you’ll be much more difficult to beat.