“My Learned Friend”: Building Constructive Working Relationships Between Self-Represented Litigants and Opposing CounselNSRLP
But for a variety of reasons, creating a positive working relationship is very challenging for both sides. We have heard from both SRLs and lawyers about the difficulties each experience in their encounters.
“My Learned Friend” is the first NSRLP Resource we have written that is directly addressed to both SRLs and legal counsel. We felt that since the focus is on cooperation and enhanced understanding, the resource should reflect mutual challenges and interests. Some of these problems relate to the demands or constraints of the particular role: lawyer, or SRL. Others are common to both sides (for example, a general feeling of discomfort and unfamiliarity about how to behave). Many of the difficulties we have heard about from both SRLs and counsel arise from a lack of understanding of the other side’s responsibilities and motivations, and uncertainty about just how to go about developing a constructive working relationship.
“My Learned Friend” offers an overview of the problems articulated by both SRLs and counsel, and practical advice based on real-life experiences on how to create a good working relationship. The goal of the new Resource – which as always, is free open-source access, downloadable as a pdf here, or linkable to your own site – is to increase mutual understanding and to provide some practical direction for establishing and maintaining a constructive and professional relationship that can make a critical difference to case outcomes.
You can watch our promotional video here.
And as always, we welcome your feedback.