Your response is due in two days. How long will you stare at that blank page? Writer’s block hits pro se litigants more often than not. There’s anxiety about the case, intimidation from opposing lawyers and fear of presenting your argument at the hearing, all combined with the pressure of a deadline. It’s a wonder we ever get anything filed. Here’s a quick and dirty trick to get past writer’s block when you’re drafting a legal document without legal training.
As a self-represented litigant, you’re in charge of your case. But sometimes you may need or want someone to help you through a rough patch. That’s when hiring a lawyer on a limited basis makes sense.
It’s sometimes difficult to explain to a judge how a statute applies to your set of facts. Without cases to make sense of written laws, statutes can just lay there doing nothing to help you. In litigation, your job is to persuade a judge to rule in your favor in hearings and at trial. To do this, you want to fill in the gaps left by the statute.
Avoid losing on a “technicality.” If you get a dismissal on a jurisdictional issue, don’t roll over and say, “My case was dismissed. I guess that’s that.” Or worse, “I’ll appeal.” If you’ve found a statute that gives you the right to sue, find the right court to sue in.
The thing about social entrepreneurship — the for-profit kind — is that you either solve the problem you’ve chosen or you go out of business. There’s a certain urgency to finding a solution. So it’s exciting when a lawyer forms a tech startup committed to access to justice. You know it’s the real deal when that lawyer goes to court to see the experience of pro se litigants.