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.
Courtroom5’s pleas to always take a court reporter to court have found major support in the judiciary. The California Supreme Court recently provided a much needed shot in the arm to indigent and moderate income litigants in Jameson v. Desta. Citing access to justice concerns, the court ruled unanimously that indigent litigants are entitled to free court reporters.
Is there a ‘one size fits all’ process for developing a litigation strategy in a civil case? Probably not, but we can start one for our own cases by answering a few key questions at each step in a case. We outline those questions in this first of a three-part series on analyzing a civil case.
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.
How many citations did the opposing lawyer include in that last filing? Did you study each one and look for conflicting case law to sway the judge back to your view? Or did you assume you couldn’t match the lawyer’s research skills and throw yourself on the mercy of the court? A new study says you shouldn’t be so intimidated by a lawyer’s citations. It turns out lawyers overlook relevant legal authorities all the time. And if you find the authorities they’ve missed, you can run away with your case.
For many pro se litigants, court decisions can be a confusing array of pitfalls and ragged corners. This is especially true when a simple statement or subtle procedural move on your part could have saved your case. So, if you want the best chance to get it right the first time, be aware of these pitfalls your average lawyer won’t experience.
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.
LeFloris Lyon is a friend of mine and a very experienced pro se litigant. He has a case pending at the US Supreme Court, an appeal of some of the most egregious rulings I’ve ever seen. Among other errors, the judge in his case effectively barred him from even speaking with a lawyer without his opponent’s permission. The treatment of pro se litigants doesn’t get much worse than this.
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.
Our cofounder loves few things more than helping pro se litigants perform better in court. For sure, one of them is telling the world about the struggles of pro se litigants and how our victories make the world a better place. Watch her half-hour interview on Pro Se Nation TV.