Propria Persona (Pro Se)

God knows, you can never stress enough the treatment that will be bestowed upon you for fighting in the Courts, without legal representation.  Some people just do not have what it will take.  It is a shame too, as it is one of our rights.  Nevertheless, you are treading on the turf of another.  You have jumped into the Good Ole Boy's Club without an invitation, and how dare you!  Yes, it is that bad.

Remember, the Court hates you, the attorneys hate you, the clerks more than likely hate you.  Don't Give Up, Don't Go Away!  Remember, you have a right to be there.  But, if you have a tendency to scare easily, you most likely will show that fear, not be able to speak when it is time, will forget what you wanted and intended to say, and will want to go and hide somewhere.  I know, cause that is me.

The Pro Se's Journey Into Darkness:
 Pro Se litigants have it really bad,  don't kid yourself...  

It's almost as if you have walked  into  a strange room with all the lights off, tense and prepared to bump into something.  

Then to make it even worse, you realize  that the Judicial System is corrupt, the opposing attorneys continually commit  fraud upon the Court, with  aid of the Court.  You have ventured into the  Darkness.

The attorneys hate you, the Clerks hate  you, and most of all the Judges hate you!

Several things I always do and  try remember when we get involved in a new case:

1.  NEVER underestimate your  opponent.

 2.  Check out the opposing attorney.   Do a google search, find out where he went to school, what clubs he was in, his  best and worst attributes.

3.  Whenever you cite caselaw, read the  whole case!  Don't be lazy like attorneys are, they don't read the whole case,  they read a little summary, then assume the caselaw works; usually they are  wrong!

4.  Whenever the opposing attorneys  cites caselaw, look it up, nine times out of ten, the caselaw used, is  actually better suited for you.*  

5.  Whenever you get quotes from a  website and it claims that it was in case such and such, double check it!  I  have seen sites that cater to pro se itigants claim a case says something like  "The Judge trespasses upon the Constitution" or something similar.  I went and  read the whole case.  Nowhere did the case say that.  So be careful.  Something  might sound really good to use, you use it.  Guess what...the case didn't say that.

6.  Pro Se litigants have a bad habit  of failing to follow the Rules of the Court, and ignoring timelines. Don't be  guilty of this, it can cost you the whole case!  Read the Rules, understand the  Rules, use the Rules to your advantage, and always follow the  timelines!

7.  NEVER cite a bunch of statutes!   Statutes, Codes, Laws... no matter what you want to call them.  The only time a  statute matters is if it says either the word SHALL or the word MUST.  Statutes  are screwed by Judge's Discretion.  The only time anything means what it says  is when shall, will or must is  somewhere in it.  Those little words, take the judge's discretion away, they are force words, and direct that something shall, will or must be done.

8.  Collateral Damage cannot be  fixed! 

9.  You cannot fight a Judge's  discretion. The best case I know of to show that a Judge abused discretion is  the "Mazda case, see * below.

*I always love using the opponent's caselaw showing not only did  they use caselaw that doesn't say what they said it says, but the caselaw in  fact is a help for me.  We did this to the State of Georgia's attorneys, and  they gave us a case that is great!  I probably would have never found the case: 
   Chudasama v. Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353 (11th Cir.  09/15/1997 .
 


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Chudasama v. Mazda Motor  Corp., 123 F.3d 1353 (11th Cir. 1997).