Not all scenarios require you to hire a lawyer. For instance, a lawyer may decide to make the representations themselves without seeking other legal services. However, some cases are difficult to handle. Cases that are high risk and have long procedures tend to be complex and time-consuming. Examples of such complex cases to handle on your own include real estate cases, employment cases, construction defect cases, and malpractice cases. A car accident lawyer deals with cases of motor accidents.
Some of the tactics to apply in increasing your chances of winning include;
- Meet all deadlines: If you are representing yourself, you should ensure you meet all the deadlines stated. For example, failing to serve the other side on time can cause you to lose the case.
- Be prepared: Before the court proceedings begin, ensure that you have arranged all your papers correctly. If you have photos, ensure you label them correctly as exhibits. Remember to photocopy copies of documents you want to use in court but have not served the other side. If you plan to use video footage in the case of accident lawsuits, ensure you have both the original and duplicate copies.
- Be realistic: It is important to understand the reach of your legal relief. Being realistic will help you reduce your expectations of the outcome. Focus on what the judge can do for you and maximize on that.
- Act professionally: The courtroom is held with a lot of respect. It is important to dress professionally and talk professionally to the judge, clerks, and officers. Educate yourself on the language used in the courtroom to avoid your case being thrown out.
- Get first-hand information: If it is your first time representing yourself, ensure you visit a courtroom beforehand to understand how court proceedings are handled. Familiarize yourself with the time each side takes to argue and make statements, where parties sit, how to approach the bench, and questions asked to persons testifying.
There are several risks involved in representing yourself, such as losing a case. The judge may decide against you, causing you to pay the other side’s costs, which can be expensive. You may opt to appeal the judgment, but that too may end up taking much of your time and money. In other circumstances, you may have fully prepared well but still, lose the case. Before choosing whether to appeal or not, it is advisable to consult with a legal expert on the way forward.
Certain factors account for being able to represent yourself. It would help if you were willing to work on your case and spend resources, both time and money, strategizing on how to win. The law can be diverse, and you should be willing to learn the ropes in a short time. The possibilities of winning a case with self-representation are:
- If the case is straightforward. For example, in changing names
- If there is no opposing counsel. For example, in a mutual divorce agreement, both parties may decide to represent themselves.
- If you are of age, you can make informed decisions and understand your options.
- If your case is an out of court settlement
For self-representation, one must understand the court proceedings and the law in depth. You should act as a lawyer and learn tactics that the other side might use. Moreover, to effectively represent yourself, you must obtain evidence and call witnesses to the stand. While representing yourself in a courtroom, avoid personal attacks on the opposing counsel and witnesses. Ensure you remain professional no matter how much you are agitated. The main aim of self-representation is to win the case without the help of a lawyer.