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Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Case

Consider the strength of the evidence that you have.  Recognize that some evidence has greater value.  Focus on evidence needed to prove the elements of your claims.

In addition, you should make an appraisal of evidence that the other side may have.  Think about the kind of evidence needed to support their arguments.

Identify the Appropriate Court

If you are the plaintiff, you must identify the appropriate court in which to file your lawsuit.

Statutes (laws) limit the “jurisdiction” (power) that each court has.  Legal actions may be filed in state or federal courts.  The question of state or federal court will depend on several issues — the type of case, dollar amount sought in damages, and number and location of the parties.

You must also determine the appropriate state court or federal court in which to file.

As a general rule of thumb, you should file a case that involves state law in a state court.  State law cases normally include divorce, landlord-tenant matters, personal injury, and breach of contract cases.  State courts normally have the authority to hear lawsuits about events that took place within the state.

Federal courts have jurisdiction in a more limited type of cases. Common federal claims include violations of copyright and trademark law, unfair competition claims, and discrimination claims.  Federal courts also hear cases in which the parties are located in different states IF the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

If you file your case in the wrong court, your case will be dismissed.  You can file your case again in the proper court.  But the statute of limitations must not have expired.  Study this issue carefully, and file your lawsuit long before the statute of limitations could be an issue.

Once you have identified the appropriate court, you must identify the proper venue for the case.  Each state has a court in each county, but you must identify the right one.  An appropriate venue is one where an auto accident occurred, where a contract was executed or was to be completed, where the defendant does business or lives, or where other critical events occurred.

If You Plan to File a Lawsuit, Make Sure You Have the Right To Do So

If you plan to file a lawsuit, you need to first be sure that you have the right to do so.

Many companies have mandatory arbitration clauses or mediation clauses in their contracts.  These contracts provide that you cannot sue the company.  You must resolve disputes through arbitration or mediation, which are out-of-court methods.

Courts strongly favor arbitration and mediation clauses, and they routinely enforce them.

You must also ensure that the statute of limitations has not expired on your proposed claim.  The statute of limitations are laws passed by state and federal legislatures to set the maximum time after an event when litigation may be initiated.

You have already identified the statute or statutes that you will be suing about. Go to your favorite search engine, and search to find the statute of limitations for that particular law.  Type your state’s name and the law (e.g., breach of contract, trespass, harassment), and then type “statute of limitations.”  So, for example: “Florida breach of contract statute of limitations.”  One of the first-page search results will usually provide what you are looking for.  Here is the result of this search.

If the event took place within the last year, you should be fine.  From my experience, two years or longer has been the norm.

You only have a short period of time to file a lawsuit. The specific amount of time will depend on the kind of lawsuit you are bringing and the state you are bringing it in. This time limit is called the “statute of limitations.”

Statutes of limitations start running from the time the alleged injury occurs.

There are some exceptions to the start date for the statute of limitations period. For example, if the defendant hit you but an injury did not appear until later, then the statute begins to run from the date you became aware of the injury. This is known as the “discovery rule.”

Always file suit as soon as possible in the appropriate court.

Study the Law and Learn How to Conduct Legal Research

One of the first things to do when you are representing yourself in court is to study the law that is applicable to your case.

The Internet is your friend.  Search for (your state name) statutes.  For example, if you are in Georgia, the search would be “Georgia statutes.”  Find the search result that seems to provide a list of the Georgia statutes.  Then find the law (statute) or laws that apply to your case.  Study them.

You need to identify the elements that you must prove or disprove in order to prevail in the litigation.  This will require another search, but it is best done in a case law database.

Knowing the law is a starting point.  You will ultimately need case law to support your position.  You can try searching online, but it’s hard to find the cases that way.  It is infinitely better to search a database of case law.

I use Versuslaw.  It is less than $20 a month, and it is a great tool.  When you use Boolean logic effectively, you can really pinpoint what you need to find.

Versuslaw has a help page to explain Boolean logic if you are like most people and don’t know what the heck Boolean logic is, much less how to use it.  The basic Boolean logic functions are andornot.  If you want to search for disqualification and recusal, your search is (disqualification) or (recusal) because the search results will be the use of either word.  A list of cases will appear with a summary.  Click on the case for the full ruling.

If you want cases where the words disqualification and recusal are both used, your search is (disqualification) and (recusal).  This will result in a list of cases in which disqualification and recusal were both used in the same decision.

If you want cases about recusal where the recusal was not overruled, your search should be (recusal) and not (overruled). This will generate a list of cases where both the words recusal and overruled are not used.

Find and Read the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s Rules

You have the right to represent yourself, but with that comes the obligation that you comply with the law and the rules.

First, find and read the Rules of Civil Procedure for your state, if your case is in a state court.  If you are in federal court, read the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Then find and read the rules for your court. Every court has rules, and you must comply with those rules as well as the state’s rules of civil procedure.  Check the website for your court, or ask the Clerk of Court to indicate where you can find the rules for your court.

You must comply with the Rules!

In my experience, the opposing party and the judge broke many rules.  I tried to know the rules, and I tried to follow the rules to the letter.

You should also be aware of the rules that attorneys and judges are SUPPOSED to comply with.  Review your state’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  These are published by your state Bar Association.

Also, study the Code of Judicial Conduct.  These will vary by state, and there is a different Code of Judicial Conduct for federal courts.

In my dealings, I found that the attorneys regularly violated a variety of provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct as did the judges.

 

Establish a Support Network

It’s smart to establish a support network.  There are people who can help you.

Facebook is a great resource because there are Groups for just about every aspect of legal matters.  I suggest that you go on Facebook and search for words that are your area of interest.  For example: pro se, wrongful conviction, mother, father, custody, corruption, etc.  You will be able to communicate with people who are representing themselves in matters similar to yours.

Try to identify others in your area who are representing themselves in court.  Help one another.

Join the Lawless America group on Facebook, and join the Lawless America state group for the state where your legal matter is.  For example, if you are in Texas, simply search in Facebook for Lawless America Texas.  Most of the state pages are www.facebook.com/LawlessAmerica(state-name).

If you have a friend or relative who is an attorney, ask if he or she could give you some help from time to time.

 

 

Fire Your Attorney

If you want to represent yourself in court and you have an attorney now, the first step is to “fire” your attorney.  That’s fun to say, but if it can be amicable, that’s best.  If you have a good relationship with the attorney, simply tell him or her that you’ve decided to represent yourself.  Explain why.  It may be as simple as you can’t afford an attorney.

The first thing I did when I began representing myself in court was to fire my attorney.  I believe he would have stopped representing me if I hadn’t fired him because he was unwilling to risk his career by battling a corrupt judge.  An attorney won’t risk his or her career pursuing an action against judges.  They know the judges are likely to get revenge.  I contacted many attorneys in an effort to find one to represent me, but no one would.

To fire your attorney, simply insist that he or she file a motion to withdraw as well as a consent to the withdrawal.

Then file a notice with the clerk of the court providing your contact information — name, address, fax, telephone, and email.  You do this because one of your responsibilities is to always keep the court informed of your current contact information.

This gives the court a record of who to contact for anything regarding the case.  A letter should be more than sufficient, but call the Clerk of the Court and ask.  Mail a copy to the other party’s attorney.  If the other party is not represented by counsel, send a copy of the letter directly to the party.

You can obtain a fax through a service called efax.com.  This will enable legal faxes to come to your email to be seen only by you.  I also obtained a Post Office Box for the legal mail so all the legal mail wouldn’t come to my home.  I also used a telephone number that rang only to me.  I did these things to insulate the family from exposure to the unpleasantries of litigation.  My ex would be upset just by seeing a piece of legal mail, and you will get a lot of legal mail.

If you have to hire an attorney to represent you in court, I suggest that you go to the biggest law firm in town.  I believe the biggest firms will have “special relationships” with judges that may allow them to win.

The courts have a “just us” system that favors rich people and members of the legal club (judges, who are attorneys, and the attorneys who practice before them.

Bill Windsor

 

Go in With Your Eyes Open

When you represent yourself in court, please go in with your eyes open.  From my experience personally and working with thousands of victims of judicial corruption, I have found that justice in court is a myth.

I believe there are very few truly honest judges in America.  Judges do whatever they want.  They often ignore the law, the rules, and the facts.  Know this when you represent yourself in court.  Go in with your eyes open.

Those representing themselves in court will probably lose.

When I first represented myself in court, I went into the process expecting to win because mine was an easily-proven case.  I have learned that you can’t win because many judges are corrupt and most judges have a prejudice for fellow members of the bar association.  I was up against the largest law firm in the state of Georgia.  The judge had very close relationships with that law firm.

If you are up against an attorney, a member of the state bar association, you are at a tremendous disadvantage.  Judges will not give much, if any, credibility to anything you say, file, or do.

Please realize that you will probably lose in court when you represent yourself.  You won’t lose because you have a bad case or because you won’t do an adequate job of presenting your case.  You will lose because the system is corrupt.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have done much any different.  I couldn’t justify the costs of an attorney, and I felt I could do a better job than an attorney.

When I realized that the judge was corrupt, I set out to document as much wrongdoing as possible.  I wanted to build a tsunami of evidence of wrongdoing.  I thought for sure an appellate court would fix things.  Wrong again.

I took my case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  I lost.  I believe they were just as dishonest as the lower court judges.

I also have experience in state courts.  Same story.  Dishonesty and corruption.

Please go into representing yourself with your eyes open.  Then be better prepared than the other party.  I will share my experience in subsequent blog articles.  If you are in a hurry, you can learn more on my website, Lawless America.

William M. Windsor

Please note: I am not an attorney, and I am not giving legal advice.  I am sharing the things I have learned from personal experience.

 

Judges, Attorneys, and Court Personnel Commit Fraud Upon the Court

Should you think judges, their staffs, attorneys, and court personnel, are honest, please think again.

If you are in a court, you are probably a victim.  It is important for you to understand what constitutes fraud upon the court so you will know when it is happening to you.

Fraud upon the court is extremely important because judgments and orders may be set aside whenever fraud upon the court is established.  I have reviewed cases where a judgment was set aside as many as 60 years later.

The rules and case law provide a procedure to seek relief from wrongdoing.  The bad news is that a judge has to make a finding of fraud.  My experience is that most judges are guilty, but their fellow judges cover for them.

The sad reality is that judges do whatever they want to do.  They do this in complete violation of the law while ignoring the facts.  I believe many judges commit crimes in the process.