Three of five people in civil cases are there without a lawyer. Do they all want to be there alone? No, but most have no choice. There are though many good reasons to represent yourself in court. Below are our top 10.
On the heels of a major victory in federal court, Brian Vukadinovich has learned enough to write a manual for the pro se plaintiff. This short but comprehensive manual is filled with helpful tips on the entire process of bringing a lawsuit to trial, and winning it. Is it difficult to represent yourself in court? Yes. Is it doable with the right preparation? Absolutely!
There are lots of ways to have a good year. In all the ways that matter, 2017 was a very good year for Courtroom5. I’m betting 2018 will be even better. It’s an exciting time to serve the cause of justice by helping people handle themselves better in court.
Representing yourself in litigation is one of the more complex jobs you’ll have, so it’s important to make things simple when you can. You can find guidance everywhere, even in everyday tasks like doing the dishes.
Changing your name is usually not a big deal. You file a petition with the new name and a judge signs it. It’s just a ministerial function, like getting a passport. But a judge in Floyd County, Georgia has denied an elderly woman the right to change her name. The name she wants is a little unusual, but so what? Luckily, Ms. Nofoot Serpentfoot knows her way around a courtroom and plans to appeal. She is 82 years old today, and we wish her a Happy Birthday!
There are lots of legal case management tools for lawyers. Litigation is a hairy business, and it’s easy to get lost in reams of legal research, sloppy billing records and missed filing deadlines, especially when you have multiple cases to handle. Pro se litigants need help managing their cases too, but the needs are very different. […]
You’re expected to be engaged in frivolous litigation when you show up in court without a lawyer, especially when you’re the defendant. If you’ve ever read the small print on the back of a traffic or parking ticket, you’ve had to weigh the cost of the ticket against the cost of fighting it. I’ve seen threats of […]
A recent guest post on Richard Zorza’s wonderful Access To Justice blog endorsed a strategy for building a legal self help center in every jurisdiction in the country within the next five years. Talk about a social revolution! Let me get this out of the way: I love Richard Zorza. I’ve never met him, never even corresponded […]
We hate to see a pro se litigant pay the other side’s attorney fees. It doesn’t happen often because a decent judge will forgive the minor procedural slip-ups of a non-lawyer. But it does happen, and sometimes for good reason. In a recent federal case, M2 Tech, Inc. v. M2 Software, Inc., the pro se defendant (who’d earlier sued the other […]
The increase in the number of pro se litigants has sparked recent innovations by clerks and judges. Just a decade or so ago, pro se litigants had few resources for assistance with their cases. Now, they have many more resources. They can, for instance, make use of court-sponsored self-help sites. The sites feature links to […]