Earlier, we outlined a recipe for analyzing a case and creating a litigation strategy. The right litigation strategy can help a pro se litigant choose the next step in a case. In this second part, we use a simple slip and fall scenario to test the recipe. Thinking through your own scenario from beginning to end can be the start of a successful experience in court.
Lawyers opposing pro se litigants want it to be one way, but sometimes it’s the other way. Few things warm our hearts more than seeing pro se litigants handle bullying tactics from opposing counsel. A Courtroom5 member shared her experience of being bullied by her opponent’s lawyer. The clapback was strong. She made sure he won’t do it again, at least not to her.
When a gunman fired hundreds of rounds at festival attendees outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, every lawyer in the country knew negligence and lax security would be key elements of any class action lawsuit. With hundreds of state lawsuits pending, the owner of both the hotel and the festival venue has sued more than 1000 victims in federal court to avoid liability for the attack. And because the law is not about justice, they just might win.
Litigation is fluid, and you can file many documents at any stage. However, this list will make you aware of available litigation documents and when they are most commonly filed.
In the bad old days before the Civil Rights Movement, racist White people felt perfectly fine harassing Black people directly, assured that police would support them if needed. I suppose it’s a sign of progress that they now prefer to call police to do their dirty work. But it has to stop. Lawsuits for intentional infliction of emotional distress could be used to make them stop.
Understanding the litigation process will help you formulate the basic strategies you need to put up an effective fight. These simple strategies are designed to give you an idea of things to look out for at each stage of litigation.
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.
Visit your local eviction court to see the judicial system chew people up and spit them out. It’s a battle between property owners and those who can’t afford shelter. No legal knowledge or training is needed to see the essential injustice in this process. But the rules of an unjust system are made to be broken.
It’s a mistake to answer a complaint too early. Are you making unnecessary admissions in the answer? Have you found all available affirmative defenses? Wouldn’t it be better to get the claim dismissed? Give yourself time to prepare before answering a complaint. A court order tells you it’s time.
The difference between a legal argument and your personal opinion is legal authority. Whether statute, procedural rule or appellate case, you win by backing your position with some law. Here’s the story of how a legal aid lawyer helped stop my eviction by sharing an appellate case.