How NOT to be a Pro Se Litigant In Court

Have you ever given thought to representing yourself in court? Get professional help! But if your case is more complicated than a single issue; you won’t find a lawyer anywhere near able to comprehend it like you can. If you lived something, you can recover to make yourself whole again. You can do it!!!!!!


It has often been said that a patient who is his own doctor has a quack doing treatment. Similarly a person acting on their own behalf as their own lawyer, in a legal setting has a suicide wish.Unless it is otherwise.

NONE OF THIS IS LEGAL ADVICE! Don’t even go there.

The legal dictionary defines Pro Se as:

“When an individual acts on his own behalf during a legal action, rather than through an attorney, he is considered to be a pro se litigant. This Latin term literally means ‘advocating on one;s own behalf.’ In all jurisdictions in the United States, an individual is allowed to represent himself, whether as the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit, or as the defendant in a criminal case. To explore this concept, consider the following pro se definition.”

Definition of Pro Se

Noun: To represent oneself in a legal proceeding.

Origin: First known use in law 1861 Latin: on one’s own behalf

Why do Pro Se litigants lose so often? This site says this is why.

The real reason is a three edge sword.

1: The Pro Se does not have a conquering knowledge of the facts (and needs a valid complaint to begin with).
2: The Pro Se does not have a clear and evident strategy (rooted in not knowing the rules and law well enough).
3: The Pro Se reacts emotionally.

To be successful in court:



Then there are the details.

1: The court is NOT YOUR ENEMY.
4: Strategy is an art.
5: Judges are not out to get you.
6: Judges speak softly. If you cannot hear them YOU WILL LOSE!
7: Write your submissions, short, sweet and to the point and have hard emperical evidence to back up and support every single allegation.
8: Strategy is an art.
10: NO seriously: DO NOT REACT!


There is one point of strategy that gets lost in most cases. The goal. Reaching the goal is all that matters to strategy and there is one fool proof strategy to use to stay focused on the goal and actually reach it.

Catch 22!

The term first appeared in the 1961 novel ‘Catch-22’, written by Joseph Heller that depicted the “absurd bureaucratic constraints on soldiers in World War II“.

It means:

a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules or limitations.

It is executed by creating a condition your enemy is already inside of, that has no other escape, yet is offered one; which leads to admission of the goal and the very same escape attempt.

It results in the goal being attained. There is no greater compliment in battle than to be accused of lying in wait to pounce upon defendants. Karen J. Hartman-Tellez actually said that in court about how she was being beaten up in the arguments.

While you are executing your strategy, stay within the rules. DO NOT break a rule once underway. Do NOT fail to respond to every single minute issue raised by your enemies. But respond does not mean react.

Remember, the opposing parties and counsel are not your friends. They are your mortal enemies.

Not Reacting:

Its the easiest thing to do. React. Somebody calls you a bad name you get angry. Somebody takes a swipe at your head with a pitchfork you instantly unload on them with whatever weapon you have available. You wind up getting hurt, either way.

To respond and not react, use the enemies weapon against them. Not yours.

Keep in mind, (pun intended) the thought that created the attack you are faced with was made by a lawyer. Projection means that lawyer concocted something from memory. That means the lawyer already knew about what the lawyer will accuse you of doing. Which means, pretty darn good chance that the lawyer is admitting involvement by projecting the condition upon you.

Make that condition fit your strategy and you too can be accused of lying in wait. How stupid !!!

Current State of Pro Se Affairs:

As states are considering, and one already has, giving legal function permission to self represented litigants, cutting the slave chains of the legal profession: you will find that your goal will be partially blocked by ignorance and laziness.

Not your ignorance and laziness: the press. To the press, a case litigated by non represented persons; is a farce. The press needs credibility to even begin to judge. While Judges will give you the serious benefit of the doubt and treat you just like a lawyer. Don’t misconstrue that treatment for punishment. It is not.

The Press’ Assumptions:

Pro Se litigants always lose.

Pro Se litigants are prison inmates.

Pro Se litigants are that way because no self-respecting attorney would have touched their case.

Pro Se litigants are emotional basket cases who won’t take go away, no, and take a hike for an answer.

In reality: that is mostly correct.

Used to be; when one’s honor was attacked, or reputation was besmirched the solution was quick and done. Now the way disputes are attempted to be settled is so captured by the legal profession; doing anything in it yourself requires considerable focus. But you can still win.

Yet a higher compliment is when a Judge declares your collective work product not be be from a neophyte. That was cool.