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.
If you had the right tools to succeed in court on your own, you’d file the right documents at the right time, effectively argue your case, and cite appropriate laws. You’d respect but not cower to judges and lawyers, have knowledge and a strategy to implement, use terms like prima facie, subject matter jurisdiction, and res judicata properly, take charge of your case, and fight with confidence.
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.
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.
All of us at Courtroom5 enjoy our live chats with pro se litigants. They help us understand the kinds of questions regular people have about litigation. And they remind us why we do what we do. Long days get shorter when you’ve helped someone, especially at no cost to them.
We learn something new from each question. But we also make sure the members of Courtroom5 don’t have questions like these, because they’re able to answer their own questions on their own steam. Better yet, they’re able to do something with the answers. Isn’t it time you joined us?
Google “pro se litigant” and you’ll see lots of articles for lawyers and judges on how to handle us, but very little on actually becoming an effective pro se litigant. That’s a shame, because civil court dockets these days are filled with cases involving only one lawyer, or none at all. Here’s what being effective looks like, and how to get there.
It may take years to resolve your court case, especially when you handle yourself well in court. Consider drawing a vision board each year that includes your litigation. Let this annual ritual help keep your intentions for the case at top of mind.