Telling A Compelling Story: The Key To Opening Statements
The typical juror would rather be elsewhere. So your opening statement should tell a story, set the tone for the trial, and be entertaining, all at the time.
The typical juror would rather be elsewhere. So your opening statement should tell a story, set the tone for the trial, and be entertaining, all at the time.
A settlement is an agreement between two parties in a lawsuit to resolve their dispute without a trial. Settlements avoid the costs and impact of litigation.
An affidavit is a legal written statement, sworn under oath and signed by an affiant recounting the facts surrounding an event or situation.
Have you been injured in some way, physically or otherwise? Considering suing the other party? Here are 11 essential steps to take to guide your way.
You may think legal forms are saving you time and money but beware — they’re not the saving grace the courts want you to believe.
Do you know what unbundled legal services are? You’re about to learn exactly what they are and how to make them work for you.
We talk to self-represented litigants regularly. Learn 5 things they wish they’d known before they entered the courtroom.
When one person’s interests are harmed by another’s actions, it all comes down to damages. Know exactly the harm done or risk losing out.
Get a judge’s thoughts on how to make pro se litigants’ journeys go a little more smoothly.
When you file a civil complaint, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss your case. Learn the grounds for these motions and how to combat them.
Lawyers say it’s important to be polite in court, but the truth is that persistence pays. Learn how to handle yourself appropriately from my experience.
Lawyers make a big difference in the success and fairness of court cases. But what about those who can’t afford representation?
If you’re considering filing a legal action in the federal district court system, there are a few things you should know. Find them all right here.
Don’t make these common pro se litigant mistakes. Learn the litigation pitfalls and how to avoid them.
California joins a few other states in providing free court reporters to litigants. Learn how this came about and why you need a court reporter.
If you mess up your case as a pro se litigant, can you appeal under “legal malpractice?”
A Florida judge thinks you’re either broke or crazy if you represent yourself. Take a look at the history of judicial bias and what you can do.
What is “justice,” really? What does it truly mean? What did it mean historically? Take a deep dive into this essential concept with Courtroom5.
You don’t have to get “lawyer-handled.” Here’s a story about showing your opposing counsel it’s “the other way” when you work with Courtroom5.
Learn what Justice as a Service is and how it can make it easier for you to find justice in your claim.
Never attend a hearing without a court reporter! Read my experiences seeing these essential workers in action.
Turns out lawyers aren’t as infallible as they’d like us to believe. Learn why you should stop being intimidated by the opposing lawyers in your case.
When we don’t pay our rent, we get evicted. But we always want to find a loophole, and there are plenty to be found in case law.
A look at judicial bias, how it can affect you as a pro se litigant, and the wise words of retired judge Richard Posner.
Learn the simple procedure we as pro se litigants can use to analyze a civil case as it moves along the civil claims process (part 1 of 2).
Use a sample scenario to continue learning how to analyze a civil case from start to finish (part 2 of 2).
Going to court? Here are our top 10 reasons why you should consider representing yourself.
Judges typically rush or detest pro se litigant cases. Here’s a deep look at why and how you can make them take you seriously.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the plaintiff or defendant — analyze your case from both sides to map your winning strategy.
Learn the seven attributes of a successful pro se litigant and get ready to win your case.
Learn some of the common misconceptions about the litigation process versus the reality of how your case may unfold.
Civil complaints are documents that initiate court lawsuits where one private person or entity claims to have been harmed by another private person or entity.
Punitive damages punish defendants in cases in which their conduct was outrageous. Learn the ins and outs of punitive damages.
The Black lawyer has traditionally been the bridge to justice for members of the Black community. Our new world needs Black lawyers more than ever.
Learn the top nine essential steps to take after you receive a court summons or complaint.
A motion is a request for a judge to issue a ruling on a specific problem. The process for scheduling hearings on a motion involves a few key steps.
Family court motions may be filed while a case is pending or after the judge has issued final orders. There are several you can use for varying types of relief.
A petition is a legal document you file with the court to open a new action (or case).
Pro se litigants often lose their cases when they make mistakes, even when the infractions are minor. Avoid these six mistakes to stay alive.
Can texts and emails be used in mediation, family, or divorce court? Short answer: yes, they can.Texts, emails, Facebook and Instagram Messenger, and WhatsApp correspondence have all become common and accepted forms of evidence in divorce/family court and beyond. Knowing how to collect, consolidate, and quickly retrieve mobile evidence can be critical in obtaining your desired results.
Self-representing in court for your legal matter? Here are a few tips on making sure your evidence really counts when you try to present it in court.
When you’re involved in a lawsuit, you have two ways to communicate with the judge: speaking before the court during a hearing or trial or by filing a motion. A motion is a written request for the judge to issue an order or make a decision on a contested issue. You can use this procedural device to request relief on a specific detail of a case, like a hearing date. Under certain circumstances, you can also use it to resolve the whole case before it goes to court. It’s important to understand how motions work and learn what they can do for you. Here are some tips:
After handling hundreds of cases, attorneys become accustomed to the ups and downs of litigation. However, most pro se litigants don’t deal with legal anxieties on a regular basis. One of the most worrisome situations for any defendant is an Entry of Default Judgment against them. This occurs when you, as a defendant, aren’t available to present your side of the case. Fortunately, in the legal world, it’s not over ’til it’s over. If you have a good reason, you can file a Motion to Vacate a Default Judgment Order.
Oftentimes, we create contracts without giving them a second thought. So, when we’re sued, we don’t always recognize the claim as a breach of contract claim. Would you handle your case differently if you knew?
Whether it’s a knack for finding just the right appellate cases or an aptitude for selecting the ideal jury, successful litigators value that extra edge. Sometimes that edge can be psychological. Luckily, you have a variety of mental tools at your disposal. Using methods of psychology, you can increase your confidence, communicate effectively, make more persuasive arguments, negotiate settlements, and more. Below are six behavioral techniques for managing your case.
After working a grueling double shift over the holidays, Mark was served with a summons and a copy of a complaint alleging that he was responsible for a slip and fall that occurred on a property owned by his deceased aunt.
Sovereign citizens believe the U.S. government became a corporation and lost jurisdiction over its citizens in 1933 when the gold standard was dropped.
You have spent months, maybe even years, working towards this moment. It’s time to try your civil case. What do you need to know now?
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our court system. Closures, delays, remote hearings, etc. have changed the way courts operate.
In litigation, not all knowledge carries equal weight. What important legal concepts are you missing? Take this readiness test to find out.
When you fight capably in court, lawyers try to beat you down. But don’t let them bully you out of pursuing your case with the threat of attorneys fees.
A man’s account of legal events that took place after the death of his grandmother serves as a cautionary tale for those in similar fights with relatives.
#BlackLivesMatter is a call to #DefundThePolice because the function of policing is to make Black lives matter less. We can’t have one without the other.
Pro se litigants are practicing law without a license, which is our right when we’re directly interested in a case. But it also means we lose, a lot.
One of the best ways to fight back when you’re being sued is with a strong affirmative defense that avoids liability even when the complaint is all true.
When a lawyer can’t manage your case because of a drinking problem, consider how this affects your case, and think carefully about ways you can handle it.
Eviction cases are nearly always biased toward the property owner. Can a tenant level the playing field and fight eviction by claiming ownership?
Summary judgment against you means the other side wins. That’s the end of your case, unless you do something about it.
When you must choose between battling it out in court, quitting or hiring a lawyer, battling it out might be the most attractive cost-conscious option.
Get used to it. Supercilious lawyers are here to stay. A tongue-in-cheek look at lawyers who bemoan the presence of pro se litigants in court.
Audio clips from a court hearing in which the judge, stunned by a pro se defendant’s courtroom proficiency, asks, “Who wrote that up for you?”
Your chances of winning as a pro se litigant are reduced when a state, acting like a crackhead and extortionist, tries to sell you access to its laws.
Remember the old adage, “No matter how dumb the dealer looks, cut the cards”? Well, when opposing lawyers talk mediation, don’t trust them, cut the cards.
We discuss three of the most important party-to-party legal letters, including the letter of protection, spoliation letter, and demand letter.
We highlight our top posts for 2019, which took on topics like amending pleadings, finding elements of claims and defenses, and defeating summary judgment.
Are you the kind of pro se litigant who is lost in the courthouse wilderness? Or did you come to conquer it? Let’s find out!
Winning is not always about a judgment. It’s about aligning your goals with a strategy to achieve them. Thats what winning looks like for pro se litigants.
Litigation is a huge expense of time and money and a drain on the nerves. So, save time, money, and your nerves by avoiding these 7 unnecessary things.
To succeed in writing an initial appellate brief, you must persuade the Court that the case should be reversed. Here’s information to help you persuade.
To help the pro se plaintiff reach the best possible outcome in their cases, this manual will provide insights into essential areas of the law.
Want to know how to dress for court? Dress to subtly remind the judge that you’re not a lawyer. Then surprise him with your knowledge.
Here are 5 lessons that self represented litigants learn after they’ve lost their cases. We know from experience that’s the absolute worst way to learn.
The path to due process is littered with obstacles pro se litigants must manage before getting to some justice. Here are some obstacles to be aware of.
To be your own lawyer, you might have to face an opponent’s lawyer, and they don’t play fair. Here are some tips for dealing with bad lawyer behaviors.
If you’re in a civil action but don’t have a lawyer, you can represent yourself, or proceed pro se. If you do, here are some things you should know.
Motions and pleadings can commence a case, move a case along, and even kill a case. In the hands of the right person, they are powerful indeed.
In 2018, we tackled a multitude of topics important to pro se litigants. Here, we highlight the best posts of the year–the ones you don’t want to miss.
Once a pro se litigant plops down his court fees, high paid judges, particularly in the federal system, don’t give their cases the time they need.
U.S. courts are dismissing lawsuits too frequently, and in doing so, they are violating the Constitution by denying the right to jury trials.
Brian Vukadinovich’s Motion for Justice — I Rest My Case chronicles a lifetime of battles with the judicial system that should not have needed fighting.
Litigation is complex, but you can do it as long as you discard your myths about the process, the people involved, and your own preparedness for real court.
When you’re representing yourself in court, civil procedure can be everything. That’s especially true when you’re up against a lawyer.
Isaac Wright, Jr. delivered the clapback of the century when the men who framed him for drug crimes and stole his freedom got justice at his hands, legally.
The function of the legal profession is access to justice. Is it too much to ask lawyers to prioritize the issue? Yes, as it turns out, it probably is.
One way to stop racist White people from calling 911 to harass Black people is to sue them for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Avoid a sleepless night on the eve of trial by preparing early. Trial planning for pro se litigants should start with the pleadings.
Former lawyer Nicole Bradick, an entrepreneur and legal tech expert, recently founded a software firm that focuses on civil justice projects.
Even in cases where you might think the judge is a little cuckoo, you must follow court rules in the hopes of getting some justice.
Yet another tale of a judge disrespecting pro se litigants, this time by not allowing a criminal defendant his sixth amendment right to self-representation.
Two civil litigants share their experiences of self-representation in the federal courts, and sound in on the notion of free lawyers for civil litigants.
The case of Celia, a slave who had been routinely raped by her master, reminds us that our courts don’t promise justice, only judicial process.
There are lots of ways to have a good year. In all the ways that matter, 2017 was a very good year for Courtroom5. Thank you.
Every lawyer joke has the same punch line, a reputation for ethical lapses. So did you hear the one about the number of lawyers it takes to fix a lightbulb?
A court ordered form may be good for simple matters. But when you represent yourself in real litigation, get Courtroom5. In which category is your case?
From physical access to chambers to simplified scheduling procedures, lawyers get an HOV lane at the courthouse that leaves the rest of us in traffic jams.
We keep our civil cases secret from family and friends. It’s why we feel so isolated as self-represented litigants. No more. Come tell me about your case.
With the discovery that the typical civil case involves a self-represented litigant, Richard Zorza becomes one of the Lawyers We Love the most.
When a self-represented litigant loses at trial, the court of appeals can be a savior. It can also be a nemesis when you win. Here’s a tale of two cases.
In “Courting Justice,” the host of the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS looks at the reasons our justice system has lost the trust of those it was meant to serve.
Michael Ratner, the radical fighter for human rights around the globe, was one of the Lawyers We Love. We mourn his passing in New York at the age of 72.
It’s easy to feel like a loser when you find yourself involved in litigation, but to win, you must get over it and remember that none of us are perfect.
Civil litigation is nothing to play with, but paying sanctions for a frivolous lawsuit could be worth making a point for issues that matter.
A 19th century archive of DC federal court cases contains numerous petitions for freedom from enslaved persons, some of them successful.
For a short course on self-represented litigation, take a look at our best non-lawyerly advice on how to win in court in 2015.
This year’s Brennan Lecture on access to justice was more about judicial efficiency. They are not the same and often come into conflict.
Legal Bits for December 2015: New Hampshire’s parking meter gangsters, clogged courts in Canada, and a forgotten strategy for beating an eviction.
A New York Times investigation finds mandatory arbitration clauses creeping into standard contract language, giving new meaning to “let the buyer beware.”
Serpentfoot is 82 years old today, old enough to have the name she wants. A local judge thinks otherwise, but he will learn. Wishing her a happy birthday!
Special jurisdiction courts are all the proof we need that the courts were never designed to provide common people with access to justice.
The ABA elite met in Chicago and groaned about the logjam of self represented litigants, but most commentators were guilty of signifying nothing.
Rich Barton, tech entrepreneur and Avvo director, sat down with the ABA president to explain why disruption is coming to the legal services industry.
We’ve all made pro se mistakes that could be laughed out of court. But Sylvia Ann Driskell’s lawsuit is the kind of mess that deepens the bias against us.
Rihanna’s BBHMM is a fierce demand for justice and a commitment to get what one is owed. That’s the attitude every plaintiff should take into court.
The Tinley Park squatter is playing the system, but probably not as badly as the system has plagued her. She’s caring for family the best way she knows how.
Losing a case on appeal is painful. The judge is an idiot, or biased, usually both. But you’re dealing with professionals on a higher court. Right?
To combat judicial tyranny as a pro se litigant, know the law, express it boldly, and never appear before a judge without a court reporter.
Justice Marshall saw two federal constitutions, and the potential for others. He said the first was fundamentally flawed by its accommodations to slavery.
Law and order as interpreted by the courts are about power, not justice. But power can come from a mere willingness to demand justice.
Courts across the country are working to improve access to justice. Can they learn from the lean startup methods used to build new businesses?
A strategy for building a legal self help center in every jurisdiction in the country in the next five years would make for a powerful social revolution.
A Richard Zorza article describes the difference in access to justice for various groups of litigants, including corporations and self-represented parties.
Looks at New York State’s efforts to close the justice gap in litigation outcomes between represented and unrepresented litigants.