Litigants in Person
If you are not a litigant in person:
Many litigants in person become involved in litigation because they have no alternative and many others become involved in litigation because they think that they have no alternative.
While you are perfectly entitled to be as firm as the circumstances require you should be unfailingly courteous.
Try to find what the real issues are and address them. It is your duty to all litigants in person to do what you can to assist them with the mechanics of the process of litigation such as (to the extent that you are permitted) helping with the orderly compilation of hearing bundles.
Expect to feel that it is frustratingly as if the court is bending over backwards in favour of your opponent.
If you are a litigant in person:
Try to identify the real issues.
Address the issues in ordinary English – there is no such language as “Courtspeak”.
Don’t download statements of case from the internet without understanding what they say and being able to support what is said at a hearing – the judge will be looking at you not the website.
Remember that asserting something is not the same thing as proving it.
Always obey court orders and, if you may be late, immediately apply for an extension of time or an adjournment with your reasons and (where needed) the evidence for doing so.
Take a good note.
Above is an extract from Case Handling - An Illustrated View from the Bench by HH Nicholas Chambers QC published by Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing.
This blogpost is for information purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice because it does not consider or take into account your own personal circumstances. If in doubt, seek legal advice.