When it comes to custody proceedings, preparation drives the results. You want to persuade the judge that you deserve custody. Pivotal to your success is making a strong case with research, attitude, and behavior so you have the best chance of being the one still standing at the end of the day.
For legal and ethical reasons, judges, court clerks, and other court staff go out of their way to be impartial. That’s because they can’t appear to be providing legal advice or favoring one party over the other. So, they seem standoffish or unhelpful. That’s their outward showing of impartiality. By law, it has to be that way. Don’t take it personally.
There are options for delaying or avoiding foreclosure, including fighting in court to the bitter end, working with the bank or mortgage company to modify a loan or get a deed in lieu, or filing for bankruptcy. Of these, bankruptcy is the only really sure bet. You file a federal bankruptcy suit and the state foreclosure process comes to a screeching halt. Before doing that, make sure it’s what you want.
To be your own lawyer, you have to face some obstacles. The biggest is an opponent’s lawyer, and they don’t play fair. Using Donald Best’s “9 Tips for dealing with an Abusive Lawyer…” as a jumping off point, we discuss bad lawyer behaviors and ways to avoid or address them.
Pro se is Latin for ‘for oneself’ thus literally meaning ‘on behalf of oneself’. Unlike criminal cases where the government appoints legal representation for those who can’t afford a lawyer, parties in civil cases don’t have that privilege. Thus, if you go pro se, be prepared to see it to completion.
Too often, a pro se litigant starts looking for help only when served with a summary judgment motion by the opposing party’s lawyer. It’s the worst possible time to learn the necessary legal skills, but it need not be fatal to your case. Here are the key steps to take in defeating summary judgment.
Legal notices aren’t simply appendages tagged on to a case just to annoy you. They may not be sexy, but they play a critical role in the smooth management of the litigation process. Sometimes there’s even a statutory requirement that a notice be filed before certain claims or defenses are asserted. In truth, if you ignore some notices, you could end up losing your whole case.
The vast majority of civil pro se litigants don’t write their own motions and pleadings. They use pre-printed forms instead. Forms are easy to understand and quick to complete. They speed up the judicial process. With forms, clerks spend less time explaining rules. Judges can review information at a glance. Pro se litigants can take shortcuts by using forms. Complete the required sections, and you’re done. Sometimes all you need to do is sign! While litigation documents are more difficult to produce than forms, they give you more control of your case strategy.
Discovery plays a major role in the litigation process. When done right, it can help you prove your case or disprove your opponent’s case. A motion to compel discovery is a major tool for getting evidence on the record. When you don’t want your information released, be prepared to hit back hard against this powerful discovery tool.
Appearing before a judge is one of the biggest challenges for pro se litigants. The judge has the power to kill your case or let it live another day. So, your nerves are taut. You’re not used to this kind of pressure. You’re not a lawyer! How do you get through a hearing? If you follow these tips, court hearings may not be a snap, but they won’t be a mess either.