Monday, July 21, 2008

More on Self-Represented Litigants

Community Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island released a study in June 2008 titled A Study of Self Represented Litigants in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island (pdf, 87 pages).

Although the sample size of self represented litigants [people going to court on their own] was small, their comments indicate the kinds of information that would help them. The following answers were in response to the question "What, if any, additional information would you have found useful to help you represent yourself?" [p.51]

* Access to cases of a similar nature.
* The main thing I needed help with was how a trial/hearing goes. The etiquette and format. For instance, I wanted to call a witness to support that my son had stayed with me for longer than stated by my ex. I didn’t know that she should not be in the court to hear other evidence.
* I would have liked help with the order of events in court. (e.g. opening and closing statements, cross examination etc.).
* A glossary of legal jargon utilized by the judge.
* Potential outcomes in the case.
* How to proceed when a party misrepresents the truth under oath.
* Outline of court procedure.
* I needed to know more about the consequences of not going to court. Now I feel that I should have gone even though everyone advised me not to go.
* More on actual procedures and how to word applications, motions and variations.

There are resources in BC than can help with these questions, such as the LawMatters list of recommended titles for public libraries, the Electronic Law Library , the Courthouse Library , the BC Supreme Court Self-Help Information Centre , Lawyer Referral Service and Supreme Court Duty Counsel.

1 comment:

Stephens said...

And also LegalGlossary.ca