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.
The right to a jury trial is part of the U.S. Constitution. So why don’t most cases reach a jury? Sure, many cases are settled, and some are frivolous, not worthy of being considered. But there are enough meritorious claims to keep our courthouses busy. Or maybe not, according to the nation’s judges. They are dismissing cases left and right. You won’t believe how few cases reach a jury.
Litigation can at times feel like a race, especially in the early stages. What you do at any given time can be the difference between finishing first and losing it all. So, when there’s an opportunity, seize it. Winning on failure to prosecute is one of those cool showers after a hard run kinda wins. Don’t miss the experience when the opportunity arises.
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.
After five months with no activity, you’re slapped with a summary judgment motion that could end your case prematurely, and not in your favor. You could’ve prepared, but you’d decided to let things die down and respond as necessary. Now you’re paying for it. It’s always better to stay on offense when you’re engaged in battle.
Is a pro se litigant assumed to be committing legal malpractice? A New Jersey appeals court says maybe, urging judges to ensure that all parties understand the consequences of ignoring requests for admissions, opposing summary judgment without evidence, and other legal requirements. The court reversed a summary judgment against a pro se litigant based on his own incompetence and his willingness to get a lawyer.