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.
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.
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.
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.
When you represent yourself in court, there are many things to worry about the day before trial. But if you haven’t prepared for trial at this point, it’s probably too late. Here’s a strategy for planning the trial as soon as your case begins. It’s the best way to get a good night’s sleep on the eve of trial.
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.
In today’s episode of Judges Gone Wild, imagine sitting on a jury and being informed by the judge that God has already decided the verdict. Worse yet, imagine being tortured with electric shock in open court during trial. May we have some order in the courts? No, not until appellate procedures become accessible to pro se litigants.
Judicial bias — shown in things like failing to read pro se filings, barring pro se litigants from conducting voir dire, and other antics — leaves much room for reform in federal and state courts. At least that’s the opinion of two experienced pro se litigants who left extensive comments on our recent ‘civil Gideon’ post.
What deadline did the court set in its order requiring the parties to complete discovery? When is your appellate brief or notice of appeal due when you’ve lost your case? Questions like these are answered by the clerk of court, not the judge. It’s rendition time.
There’s no need for panic when you’re served with a summary judgment motion. Usually the lawyer on the other side just wants to bully you into a bad settlement. You can bet one of these five approaches will give you solid grounds for opposing it.