How to Represent Yourself in a Civil Case

We can all come across situations in our relationships when we are not left with any other option but to let a civil court decide out fate. However, not everyone can afford a high-quality attorney because they charge a heavy fee, which can easily be out of the reach of an ordinary person. If you are on a tight budget, it does not make any financial sense to hire an attorney, unless your case is worth about $25000. The only other option you are left with is to represent yourself in the court, which is understandably quite a challenging task for a layman. However, you can cope with this challenge efficiently by adopting a few useful techniques.

Things Required:

– Copy of the rules of civil procedure
– Copy of the rules of evidence
– Do-it-yourself legal guides


  • 1

    Search for an attorney reference

    If you have a friend or a family member, who is a lawyer, this can really be a great help for you. However, if you are unable to fund an attorney in your social circle, you should look to have an ‘unbundled’ fee agreement with a lawyer. In that case, the attorney will be available to answer your queries and may assist you in drafting and reviewing the documents whenever you need any help. However, they would be unavailable to represent you in the court.

  • 2

    Buy a legal procedural manual

    In order to represent yourself in a civil case, you must buy a legal procedural manual, which should go a long way in helping you understand the rules of procedure and evidence in your case. It should also assist you immensely regarding the practical factors of conducting a lawsuit in your jurisdiction. 

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    Legal treatise

    You should also buy a legal treatise on the area of law which is related to your case. You would require a good manual on family law in your state, you are getting a divorce in. 

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    Follow the rules

    You must use the federal rules of civil procedure in a federal court and state rules of civil procedure in a state court. Through the rules of civil procedure, you can get all the important information regarding your case like how to file motions, how to prepare for trial, how to file pleadings and how you can request an order from the judge. 

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