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Common Pitfalls When Representing Yourself

So you have decided to prepare your own case before a court or tribunal. Avoid these common mistakes made by people who self-represent, keeping in mind that this general information may not apply to your situation:

Don't forget to check the rules and procedures for the specific court or tribunal you are in.

Don't assume that if you make procedural mistakes you will lose. Some are correctable or not important. But some are fatal.

Many of the papers you send or receive may be evidence. Don't write on the originals.

If you have people to interview as witnesses, don't interview them in the presence of each other. This taints all the testimonies.

Fact, evidence, and proof are each separate concepts. Don't misunderstand them.

Don't assume you know how to recognize hearsay evidence, let alone how and whether it can be used.

Don't rely on court or tribunal staff to draft your legal papers for you. They don't know your evidence or your strategy.

Doing your own case can overtake your life and hurt your relationships. Don't lose perspective.

Representing yourself puts you in company with half of all litigants. I can review your case before you get in too deep. Limitation periods and other legal deadlines may apply to your case, so book a consultation now by calling me at 613.203.4874.