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10 Tips For A Pro-se Litigant


When you need to take legal recourse for any personal or business matter the only choice is not that of hiring an expensive lawyer. If you have determination, grit, knowledge, and the willingness to tackle matters yourself then you can represent yourself.

This self representation is called "Pro Se" which is Latin for "self."

In a court of law every citizen has the right to represent himself irrespective of whether he is the plaintiff or defendant. Pro-se is also known as propria persona or proper or litigant in person.

Although the law varies from state to state many courts permit pro-se litigations while others require the presences of a lawyer along with the pro-se representation. When a plaintiff or defendant chooses the pro-se route, he or she waives the right to a legal council throughout the case.

- To choose the "pro-se" route you must either have studied law or be familiar with the procedures.

- Very often the "pro-se" route is the only affordable one. However, even in this case you could choose to take the help of a legal coach, a lawyer who will ensure that you are addressing the case right.

- The key to a pro-se representation is knowledge. Use all the resources available both print as well as World Wide Web to prepare a strong case. Study case law and read published cases and decisions

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- Think about using the assistance of a paralegal or a non specialty law firm for a small fee.

- Use the help available. Most often pro-se litigants can take filing assistance from the courthouse pro-se clerk. Find out whether the judge assigned to the case will offer advice.

- It is important to know how a court functions, the rules to be followed and decorum in a court house.

- Prepare the case with care and keep ready all evidence as well as information the case may need.