Articles Tagged with Pro se litigants

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“LAW IN POPULAR CULTURE: Producers seek ‘everyday lawyer’ to host reality TV show,” Mar 10, 2014, by Victor Li

…. Now, Los Angeles-based production company GRB Entertainment is aiming to bring over a British legal show that gives regular people access to the justice system. GRB is producing an American version of the BBC television show The Legalizer, and is sorely in need of a lawyer who can serve as the host and face of the show. The host’s main duty will be to guide individuals through often difficult and confusing legal processes and discuss their legal options, so that they can stand up for their rights….” [Link to full ABA Journal news article.]

(Oh yes, I have lots to say about this, but sometimes the less said the better.)

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Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge You’s column on pro se litigants in the April 2013 MBA Lawyer gives succinct and useful advice to attorneys who are facing self-represented litigants in relatively benign situations.

Talk to judges and lawyers, and maybe even PLF, if the situation gets more complicated, as it most certainly will in some instances. And take advantage of Meet the Judges opportunities or Advice from Judges CLEs, not to mention talking to experienced attorneys about opposing pro se litigants. Priceless!)

Excerpt from: “Dealing with Self-Represented Litigants How to Avoid Becoming Goliath Against David,” by Judge Youlee You, Multnomah County Circuit Court:

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Thinking about legal self help, access to justice, unbundled legal services?

Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog has all kinds of intriguing posts and links, e.g.

1) “Lawyer Referral Services Are the Key Gateway to Unbundled Services and California Leads the Way,” 10/16/12.

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I’m a great fan of the Inter-alia blog. One Blawg of the Day post is all you get driven into your mailbox, assuming you subscribe, and it is usually a winner. If it’s not, the delete button removes all evidence in a flash.

It’s always good to see what lawyers in other states and countries are doing. For example, there was a terrific little article from NC Law Blog, the Inter Alia’s October 22nd Blawg of the Day pick, on a mediator’s dilemma with self-represented litigants.

“Cruel to be Kind,” September 19, 2012, by Christie Foppiano, at the NC Law Blog.

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Craig Colby v. Karen Gunson, State Medical Examiner (SC S057691) (August 26, 2010)

Excerpt (from August 26, 2010, OJD Media Release):

On review from the Court of Appeals in an appeal from the Marion County Circuit Court, Albin W. Norblad, Judge. 229 Or App 167, 210 P3d 917 (2009).

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I’m an energetic advocate of DIY Legal Research (as are most public law library librarians) and a somewhat less than enthusiastic advocate of DIY Lawyering (aka self-help, self-representation, pro se litigation, pro per representation), especially for people who don’t have any research experience or aptitude for hours of study, note-taking, writing, preparation, decision-making, and the sense to consult experts when necessary (not to mention having the patience of a cat watching its prey).

I’ve learned over the years that the most successful self-help litigant isn’t necessarily the smartest person, though “smart” can help. But persistence, attention to detail, listening, patience, and good manners can often win out over “smart.

Our best pro se litigants consult attorneys. The litigants save money by thorough research, study, observation, taking chances and making mistakes, and not a small amount of luck. They also have lots of energy that is used staying up late drafting motions, answers, letters, and reading the law, in all its procedural and substantive glory.

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See this Oregon Court of Appeals case, State v Rowe, Docket no. A128400. From the OJD Media Release page (use drop-down menu to get to the Ct of App):

Defendant appeals his convictions for impeding traffic, ORS 811.130, and failure to obey a police officer, ORS 811.535. Defendant was standing next to his bicycle on a sidewalk in Portland when he refused a police officer’s order to “move along.” Held: To be convicted of impeding traffic, defendant had to have been “riding a bicycle.” To be convicted of failure to obey, the officer’s order had to have been lawful. On appeal, the state concedes that it failed to prove that defendant was riding a bicycle. Further, the state concedes that no other lawful basis existed for the officer to have ordered defendant to move. Reversed.”