Articles Tagged with Legal self-help

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TED Talk: How to Put the Power of Law in People’s Hands”

Summary:
What can you do when the wheels of justice don’t turn fast enough? Or when they don’t turn at all? Vivek Maru is working to transform the relationship between people and law, turning law from an abstraction or threat into something that everyone can understand, use and shape. Instead of relying solely on lawyers, Maru started a global network of community paralegals, or barefoot lawyers, who serve in their own communities and break the law down into simple terms to help people find solutions….” [Link to Vivek Maru’s TED Talk Reading List, and link to more TED Talks on justice, law, and crime.]

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You can’t (CANNOT) waltz into an Oregon Small Claims Court and expect to win your case. You have to do your homework:

1) You have to read the book (in public and law libraries and bookstores):

“Using Small Claims Court in Oregon.” by Janay Haas, 2012. (Oregon Legal Guides)

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PUGS (Portland Underground Graduate School) offers this November 2016 class – and many others:

Criminal Law: How to Think Like a Lawyer:

LEARN THE BASICS OF CRIMINAL LAW IN THIS 4-WEEK MINI-LAW SCHOOL COURSE. YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO BRIEF A CASE, EXPERIENCE THE FAMOUS “SOCRATIC METHOD” & GET AN UNDERSTANDING HOW THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM REALLY WORKS.

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This is a short list of guides and gateways to Oregon self-help litigant and legal information resources. You can drill down into any of these websites and find many more legal resources:

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Massachusetts has Guidelines on the Public Rights of Access to Judicial Proceedings and Records.

This seems to be a relevant post for us here at the Oregon Legal Research Blog given the most recent statewide and local Oregon difficulties (to put it mildly) public officials are having with the true meaning and spirit of our Public Records Laws.  (And remember the 2006 Multnomah County Auditor’s report on eliminating barriers to access to public records? There are many more of those, er, aspirational public records proclamations, where that came from, local and statewide. Sigh.) (By the way, Auditor or “accountability” reports at many levels of government are a great research resource.)

These particular Massachusetts’ guidelines start off with this statement of their:

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“Thus sayeth the Librarian, over at Legal Research is Easy (where you can enjoy some of the best public law librarianship story (and truth) telling in the blogging business 🙂

Every public law librarian will recognize that sad tale told by, no, not an idiot, but quite the opposite: a Professional Law Librarian!

Lesson: Unless you’re willing to do ALL the research the law requires, ALL ALL ALL of it, don’t come crying to us (even from the grave). We don’t like to say “I told you so,” but gosh darn-it I will say it if you ignore me when I recommend, strongly, with or without a sigh, that you talk to a lawyer.

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Maybe you saw the recent New York Times Magazine Tip: “How to Make a Citizen’s Arrest,” by Malia Wollan, May 6, 2016. (Also in their “Crime and Criminals” library.)

Maybe you wondered about Oregon’s laws on citizen’s arrests?

Maybe you also wondered if Portland, Oregon, means business with its Vision Zero plan (zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries)?

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While there are many excellent legal self-help initiatives, there are few studies that evaluate those self-help programs after the fact, i.e. after the self-represented litigant has used the software or the court forms and system (e.g. in small claims court) to resolve a problem or right a wrong.

But the surveys that do exist can be helpful to others. See, for example, this report, which you can find at the SRLN Stories page – and here is the direct link:

Orange County, CA and the State of Texas Conduct User Experience Research and Learn that SRLs in Civil Cases Can E-File (News 2016)