Pro Se Litigants

Pro Se litigants are among the most discriminated people within the Court system.  The only people that I have seen more discriminated against, are disabled pro se litigants.

Feel free to add your thoughts and input!

Published by nootkabear

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11 thoughts on “Pro Se Litigants

  1. @Monica246:

    “Janet fortunately got hers thru and I am waaaay happy for her – hope she finds relief!”

    Monica is speaking of the Petition for Writ of Cert. that was just filed in The US Supreme Court; The feed for:

    Petition for Writ Of Certiorari US Supreme Court Stegeman v Lillig No: 10-5132

    is here:

    and the scribd information is located at:


    Thank You Monica!

    Monica will get her’s into The US Supreme Court too… and I hopefully will be doing an Amicus for it!


  2. Welcome Candy!!

    Am another pro-se litigant – have been away from this bd way too long! I too have a case for the US Supreme Ct if I can only get thru the dumb-@$$ clerks who seem to cite me purposely the wrong statutes of the SupCt rules in order to keep me out. I am mentally “not quite there” and it takes me a while to pound out a Writ. I missed it for this term and have to submit a Writ of Error Coram Nobis by new term on October4th because the clerks cited me the wrong rules of engagement. Janet fortunately got hers thru and I am waaaay happy for her – hope she finds relief!



  3. Welcome to Candy Campbell. You have made a very good point, and we welcome comments from you.

    I see that you are from proseproject.

    Please feel free to comment anytime. The pro se litigant needs all the positive information they can get.


  4. In a nation that spends over $90 billion every year on private legal fees, it is a professional disgrace that, collectively, pro bono service occupies less than 1% of lawyers’ working hours. — We have the world’s highest concentration of lawyers, but one of the least accessible systems of legal services. [excerpt from Deborah L. Rhode – Access to Justice]

    Candy Campbell


  5. Should law be open source?
    May 05, 2010 | Duke Law NewsPrint

    The pros, cons, and challenges to making legal materials publicly available for free were probed at an April 28 workshop sponsored by Duke Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain (CSPD).

    Leading scholars, including some of the Law School’s leading open access proponents, discussed, a proposed system to provide free online access to all primary legal materials in the U.S. Participants included the main architect of the system, Carl Malamud, Andrew McLaughlin, deputy chief technology officer in the Executive Office of the President, and David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, as well as Dean David F. Levi, Professor James Boyle, and Richard Danner, Duke’s senior associate dean for information services and Rufty Research Professor of Law.

    The daylong discussion focused on the definition of primary legal materials, privacy issues, the challenges of preserving and authenticating legal materials online, and the underlying value of making those materials freely available.

    Primary legal materials –– including statutes, regulations, court opinions, and hearing transcripts, among other texts –– are often hidden behind pay-for-access, password-protected portals. Backers of the idea say that making the law accessible will promote transparency and informed democratic participation.

    Boyle, Duke’s William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law, likened the law to a computer’s operating system, and the movement to the programming community responsible for open-source software, which could be copied freely. “[The programmers were] deeply committed to this notion that the hood of the car should not be welded shut.”

    The open-source movement initially flummoxed lawyers and economists, he said. “They said, ‘How are these people going to get paid? How is this going to be sustained as an ongoing idea?’” But making some software coding available to all engendered new and creative ideas, and eventually led to innovation, he noted.

    “We should explore creatively, as the open-source software community did, ways in which one could not only make this open and public, but by which layers of activity, some for-profit, some non-profit, could be built on top of a commons of accessible material,” Boyle said.

    Malamud also promoted advantages of freely accessible, searchable material, saying that legal scholars could break new ground in research if enough data from courts was made more easily available. “[Legal scholars], given the opportunity to analyze the corpus, are able to find information like ‘Is there discrimination in civil rights cases in district courts, and does that vary across the country.’”

    Levi, formerly the chief United States district judge for the Eastern District of California, cautioned that privacy issues were vitally important in any discussion about making court records freely accessible online. In many civil cases, he said, the court functions as a repository for any and all materials that parties enter into the record. Far from being primary legal materials, much of that material consists of allegations and accounts about individual’s private lives, Levi said.

    Court records of criminal cases and immigration cases can also be rife with private information, noting that inmates had been killed over plea bargains revealed in court records.

    McLaughlin praised Malamud’s efforts with

    “What I viewed as something of a windmill-tilting exercise has taken off, and it has gathered steam,” he said. “It’s been really kind of amazing.”

    He and Ferriero both discussed the Obama administration’s open government initiative. “On Jan. 21, the day after he took office, President Obama issued as his first memorandum, the open government memorandum,” McLaughlin said. “It mapped out the work plan for the open government initiative… and it was built around transparency, participation and collaboration as the three organizing principles.”

    The initiative is loosely aligned with the aims of, inasmuch as it embraces open government, McLaughlin said. “The broad project the first year… was really about figuring out which data we could make public,” he said. “The longer-term project is about culture change.”

    That culture change may, in fact, amount to embracing ancient values, as CSPD Director Jennifer Jenkins pointed out in her presentation. She noted that a Minnesota district court had considered whether law was copyrightable in 1886. “The court wrote, in eloquent nineteenth-century language, ‘It is a maxim of universal application that every man is presumed to know the law, and it would seem inherent that freedom of access to the laws should be co-extensive with the sweep of that maxim. Knowledge is the only just condition of obedience.’”

    She then discussed the ancient Roman practice of posting the law publicly. “The question I want to ask today is, in terms of public law, are we less advanced in the age of the internet, than in ancient Rome?”

    » View a webcast of “The Law is “America’s Operating System”: Should It Be Open Source?”



    Duke Law hosts conference on litigation in federal courts, May 10-11
    May 05, 2010

    Duke Law School will host a unique conference on civil litigation in federal courts May 10-11. Sponsored and organized by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the conference will bring together more than 180 federal judges, practitioners, and academics to undertake a comprehensive examination of issues of access, fairness, cost, and delay in the civil litigation process.

    The 2010 Civil Litigation Conference will feature new data from several empirical studies on current litigation practice and proposals for improving civil litigation in the federal trial courts. In particular, data on actual litigation costs incurred by law firms and major corporations will be available for careful analysis.

    “Much of the data to be presented at the conference has not been available before,” said Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a Civil Rules Committee member and conference organizer. “This will be important new information on what is actually happening in different practice areas.” Among the topics to be discussed are the cost of litigation and recent Supreme Court decisions that have focused attention on pleading standards and discovery.

    “This conference hopes to build on the legacy of the 1976 Roscoe Pound Conference and all it contributed to the reform of the administration and delivery of justice in the federal system, as well as on the 1997 Boston College of Law Conference on Discovery,” said Judge Mark Kravitz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, chair of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

    Proceedings will be streamed live at and at Conference registration is closed.

    » Read more about the conference from The National Law Journal


  7. Janet! Yes – I forgot the money thing – its who has the most $$$ to litigate the other either into poverty or just flat out buy justice. I had the good fortune one time of out-litigating a multi-billion $$ corp who hired another such corp to prevent me from getting unemployment bennies. I made them change their corporation policies and cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars for discriminatory policies amongst their employees towards customers. It was a glorious win :))).

    About pro-ses giving poor legal advice. The problem I have encountered is several-fold. One are the right-wing-nuts who will not enter the courtroom because there is gold fringe on the flag and other such nonsense and who stand on the constitution to the point where it has a totally perverted meaning. The judiciary hates this. One thing I’ve found as a pro-se litigant for the majority of my adult life, is play within the rules and destroy from the inside out.

    Another thing about conveying experiences, is that all judges run their courtroom differently – some by the rules, some not, so what one experiences in one courtroom may not fly in the next. The standards of pleading and practice also varies wildly according to the judge – f’rinstance – in NV to authenticate a document you only need to sign under penalty of perjury (28 USC 1746). OTH in CA you need a notary to authenticate a doc. The fed rules say specifically if you invoke 28 USC 1746 then its a good as a notary in states and in fed jurisdictions, but the states want to keep certain parties in business, therefore the require a notary. This is just an example. another thin that really irks me is that it is the law of the land that pro-se pleadings are to be construed liberally (Haines v. Kerner) and not held to the stringent standards of atty-made pleadings – we all know this is a farce – they hold you to a higher standard than attys! Because they use the rules against you in order to get you out of the system from getting your day in court and pursue your 1st amendment rights and right to due process. Okay – I gotta get going otherwise, I’ll be on my soapbox all day!


  8. Having been a pro se litigant for quite some time now. One of the biggest problems I have seen…

    Pro Se litigants tend to give each other a lot of bad advice. I haven’t decided if they truly don’t know the advice is bad, or if they really don’t think the Rules of the Court matter all that much.

    The Pro Se must realize they already have several strikes against them for treading into the space reserved for the almight attorneys. Then… the pro se comes into the courts, disregarding the Rules of the Court, failing to file on time (not all of them, but I have seen many that do). Then the pro se litigant wants preferential treatment. (Keep in mind, I am playing devil’s advocate here showing what an opposing attorney is looking at)

    The Judge… already hates the pro se litigant; keep in mind , the Judge was an attorney before becoming a Judge (except some Magistrate Judges in GA, and maybe other states). Whether or not the Judge every was an opposing attorney to a pro se litigant, this pro se litigant has dared to invade an attorney’s place. The Judge ends up holding the pro se litigant to an even higher standard than he does the attorney. This really gets the pro se litigant confused. Stare decisis says that the pro se litigant is to be tolerated and held to lesser standards.

    These are my thoughts for the day on the matter. Yall feel free to show my thoughts are correct, or better yet, show me that I am wrong!


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