The ins and outs of going to court without a lawyer

Sometimes, even if you try to figure out a problem informally, your may have to go court to resolve it. The fact is that you do not have to have a lawyer or any other legal professional in order to go to tribunal. If you want, you can defend yourself in court. You can choose to do this if you consider it would be better to talk directly to the judge or if you cannot afford to pay the legal fees. A person who represents themselves in legal proceedings is designated as a “litigant in person”. Other common denominations include “applicant”, “defendant” or “respondent”. The term that is being used depends exclusively on whether your case is heard in a family, civil or criminal court.

Before taking legal action, you should take some time to consider what you can achieve in court without a lawyer and, most importantly, whether it will be worth it. Regardless of the court or the tribunal your case is heard in, you should get legal advice, especially if you are dealing with complex legal matters. What you should do is discuss your case with a qualified lawyer, even if you are not planning to use one for your legal proceedings. There are many organizations that can offer you legal advice about your specific case and explain to you the rules and the procedures that are involved. You should keep in mind that the law can be very complicated and a solicitor can provide you an overview of what you need to do when you are dealing with a civil law legal problem.

With respect to your case, you will have to spend a lot of time in order to prepare it. The first thing you will need to do is work out the nature of your case, in other words if someone has done something wrong to you or if someone has failed to undertake or complete a service you have paid for. In brief, you have to ask yourself what the opponent (the other party) has done wrong and what you want to do in order to fix it. If you are determined to start legal action, you will have to say exactly that. In legal terminology, this is called “bringing a claim”. You should look at the facts objectively and not let your emotions get in the way.

Probably the hardest part is bringing your point across eloquently and convincing the court that what you are saying is true. The judge has to be at least 51 percent sure that what you are saying is true. It is recommended that you are always completely honest with the judge and the other officials you speak to. If you deliberately lie, the consequences will be very serious. Your claim should be ultimately supported with evidence. You can make use of witnesses who have knowledge about relevant facts and events, documents, physical objects and, last but not least, expert evidence. Stick to the facts and try to get to the point by using the evidence at your disposal. If you only satisfy 50 percent, then you will lose your case.

The bottom line is that preparing for a court hearing implies a lot of preparation, not to mention the formal process of taking a case to court. So you should decide if going to court without a solicitor is what you really want.

To learn more about going to court without a solicitor, and how to go to court without a lawyer please visit these links!

About Jennifer Garrett

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