Here at Courtroom5, we operate on a simple creed:
The courts belong to the people — in particular the people who use them — and we the people are coming to claim our courts.
The Courts Belong to the People
Whether plaintiff or defendant, the U.S. Constitution recognizes our right to petition government and to defend ourselves in court. We give meaning to this right by preparing self-represented litigants to be effective in court, and by providing information and advocacy through our blog, free resources, and Courtroom5.
While our rights to appear pro se are recognized by every court in the land, most of us find the process so intimidating that we either don’t show up or show up unprepared. While non-appearance results in a loss through default, ineffective appearance is just a slower, more painful loss.
On the other hand, when pro se litigants have the courage to appear, judges often patronize (at best) or ignore (at worst) us. We are tolerated just long enough for the barest appearance of due process, then defeated by opposing counsel and a complicit judge acting like old college roommates.
Our goal at Courtroom5 is to give meaning to your right to represent yourself by ensuring that you’re not only less intimidated by the litigation process but more prepared to make the best impression possible in court. You are your best advocate.
The Courts Belong to Those Who Use Them
A lawsuit is no fun, especially for unrepresented litigants. In fact, blending civil procedure, case law and legal arguments into a winning recipe is something lawyers have spent years in graduate school to learn.
So, if you’re inclined and can afford one, hire an attorney. This manifesto is for the rest of us who must represent ourselves.
In support of your right to represent yourself, we offer a broad range of services, including case strategy, legal research, document assembly and file management. Our blog and community provide strong advocacy and support for pro se litigants by pro se litigants, and our resources give you a leg up on your case:
- Get a quick overview of the process with our Litigation Milestones, and review and download some common pleading templates from the Litigation Milestones page.
- Find loads of information from our curated list of Best Legal Links.
Combined, these support and advocacy measures embody these principles.
We Are Coming to Claim Our Courts
Our members are armed with effective litigation strategies and basic knowledge on civil procedure. We fight better in court.
The more prepared you are for court, the stronger your arguments. The stronger your arguments, the more respect attorneys and judges must give you.
The more respect you command in court, the better your chances of winning, buying time, or negotiating a favorable settlement.
Our commitment is to provide you the tools to get that respect.
We at Courtroom5 pledge to support these principles in all our activities. In particular, we will:
- build and enable information technologies and communities that empower regular people to assert their rights at all levels of U.S. civil courts;
- use our assets — intellectual property, technologies and reputation — to support the rights of self-represented litigants;
- promote these principles in public and within the legal profession.
Use Courtroom5 to put your best foot forward in court. Sign up now!