Not every self-represented litigant needs a Case Manager. But when you’re in real litigation — in a knock-down drag-out fight for something valuable — you need to get up to speed, get people to help, and get it together. Tools, training, and community: that’s Case Manager.
It’s been 30 years since Twisted Sister dropped their famous track, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” about teen rebellion against authoritarian parents. Self-represented litigants are screaming this anthem as they drag abusive companies into court to pay for their misdeeds.
You’ll likely fall back on your TV knowledge the first time you get sued. It won’t be long before you realize you’re out of your depth. You’ll feel confused, overwhelmed and desperate. But once you get your emotions under control, there are really only three things you need to do.
We can no longer tolerate the decrepit state of civil justice in the United States. But the system cannot fix itself. It’s our system, and we have to take responsibility for fixing it. For the pro se litigant, that starts with wriggling our way out of the special jurisdiction courts set aside for us, and then working collectively to abolish these courts altogether.
It’s been nearly 20 years since “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” was released, just a few months before Tupac Shakur lost his life. The music video for the track has 2Pac and Snoop representing themselves in court with the gangsta attitude needed for effective pro se litigation. Like a gangsta, every successful pro se litigant must be prepared to break the rules, because the rules weren’t made for us.
I just hope Bobby Chen gets his brief in on time. It’s due at the Supreme Court in a few days and he is nowhere to be found. Every pro se litigant who’s ever lost a case prays for the day the appellate court delivers a smackdown to the idiot judge with the K-mart law […]
When you reach the discovery stage of your case, the fun is just beginning. Now you get to evaluate your opponent’s evidence. Watch out for landmines though, like unanswered requests for admissions.