The Great Equalizer: Why Both Represented & Self-Represented Litigants are Asking the Same Questions about the A2J Crisis

We know that the experience of self-representation in our justice system is remarkably consistent. It takes enormous work and effort. It is a frustrating, stressful and often an interminably long experience. There are some good days – and many bad days. And even those few whose good days outnumber their bad days acknowledge the very same work, effort, frustration and stress. Self-representation is a great Equalizer Our study data demonstrated that this experience is consistent across courts and provinces. Being a SRL is a great [...]

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Coping with the Courtroom

Coping with the Courtroom Announcing “Coping with the Courtoom: Essential Information and Tips for SRLs” , written by Hannah Bahmanpour and Julie Macfarlane for the NSRLP. This primer for preparing yourself, emotionally and technically, for court is packed with the information and practical self-help tips that

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New York State introduces “SRL Navigators”: Can We Narrow Judicial Discretion on Allowing McKenzie Friends into Canadian Courtrooms?

Last week Justice Jonathan Lippman – Chief Judge of New York State – announced a pilot program that will allow non-lawyer “Navigators” to accompany SRLs to housing court in Brooklyn, and to consumer debt cases in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The Navigators will not be permitted to address the court, but will be able to respond to questions from the judge and generally assist the SRL. Chief Justice Lippman is implementing recommendations made by the New York Task Force to [...]

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Listening to SRL’s and including them as system stakeholders

We have embarked on a strategy of highlighting one Action Step each month in our events, social media postings and the SRL blog in an effort to draw national attention to that issue. In February, we focused on “How We Think About Change” (Action Step 1), making this the subject of several provocative blogs and launching a new “Water Cooler” blog to encourage discussions and debate over the questions we are raising. In March, our focus will be Action Step 2, [...]

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My Story: Janice Etter

When Janice Etter filed a claim in small claims court in November 2009, she never imagined what awaited her. When she found herself and her partner the victim of a scam. Janice brought her lawsuit to try to recover money she had lost to a con-artist, thinking that in the “people’s court” (small claims) she would not need to pay for legal counsel – “we never dreamt we would need one for this”. Having met Janice in person, she is [...]

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