*** NOTICE ***
The next meeting of the National Association for Self Represented Litigants (in formation) will be held at to be announced on to be announced. You are requested to ring first on 8214 8397 and advise that you intend to attend.
If you are currently a self represented litigant with an action in any court or are a potential litigant with a proposed claim or a current represented litigant in any jurisdiction or a legal professional you are welcome to attend.
The SELF LITIGANTS NETWORK was established for the provision of courses for litigants in person. In 1999 it was noticed that there were no courses for litigants in person and since litigants in person, by definition, do not use solicitors or barristers, there were generally no support systems for litigants in person apart from LIAC, books and court staff (who can only give limited procedural advice). The law presumes you know the law and you know the facts of your case. It was also noticed in 1999 that there was an increasing number of people running their own cases in the courts for a variety of reasons, chief of which were lower courts making it more attractive for people to present their own cases by not awarding costs for claims under $3,000, federal courts becoming more "user friendly", disenchantment with solicitors due to costs and adverse experiences and the fact that people like to do things themselves. However these people running their own cases were not all winning. Good and winnable cases were being lost for wrong reasons, and also bad cases were being lost for the wrong reasons. People with winnable cases were losing for lack of knowledge of procedure. Being a litigant in person is "not for the babes and not for the bears". It is not for babes who are confused and need everything done for them. It is not for the bears or whingers who do nothing and see themselves impotent. It is for people who prefer to do things themselves, like to keep control and stay in the drivers seat, don't trust anyone with their private matters and want to win. As a litigant in person you stay in the driver's seat. You construct your pleadings, your statements of claim, your affidavits, your submissions, amass and arrange your evidence, run your case and seek to learn everything you need to know that is relevant to your case. The Self Litigant's Network has obtained prices from professional legal educational and training bodies for the first courses for the litigant in person to be able to learn basic procedures for running their own cases. Of course running your own case is not for everyone. Some people have no interest but others want to keep control of their action and take a very real interest in it and would rather run their case, win or lose, to keep control. (Actually if you are running your own case you probably won't lose because you would learn enough along the way to know not to proceed with it. The proposed course for Litigants in person will cover a 10 to 13 week period and cost. In some cases costs may be recoverable in a costs order on the other side or your work may pay for the course or it may be tax deductible for you. If you are in business and feel you need to brush up on basic legal procedures for basic recovery actions, are contemplating a family court action or federal court action where many litigants conduct their actions in person, generally with no preparation or training, or have a legal issue you would like to eventually explore or ventilate in the courts for damages or whatever then the Litigant in Person course is for you. The course will not go greatly into law as it is presumed you know the law or can quickly pick it up. The course will deal with procedure but may touch on law in an anecdotal fashion. The course is not a law course. You are supposed to know the law. It is proposed that the course will cover 1 - background to civil law, public litigation and private litigation 2 - the art of writing letters 3 - where to access law, find precedents and procedure 4 - the various pre-hearing stages 5 - dealing with court staff and solicitors, why you may want the other side to use professionals 6 - how to source data and evidence and arrange your evidence. 7 - how to prepare your pleadings and paperwork 8 - keeping to what's relevant and the laws of evidence 9 - a guided tour of a law book shop 10 - conducting a hearing, cross examination and submissions as a plaintiff 11 - Obtaining judgment and how to collect upon a judgment. Various papers and books may be available at each session. (In 1999 the first association for litigants in person (Self Litigant's Association, SLA) was incorporated in Sydney to provide consultative services to its members, chief of which was the process of panel where you could rehearse part of your case by bringing your proposed wordings to panel (made up of other members) who would assist, analyze, question, demolish or improve your immediate pleadings and strengthen or destroy your case. The experience could be comforting or more harrowing and adversarial than a court case but not binding. The association also acquired books for its library. (Unfortunately the association seems to have for now fallen into the hands of a committee who have not called any meetings this year and new blood is required)). A Self Litigants' Association was set up by litigants in person also in 1999 in Sydney and is currently inactive and needs new blood. Membership of this association still stands at $295 and membership fees may in some cases be recoverable as costs. Membership is open to plaintiffs and potential plaintiffs. For enquiries ring David on Sydney (612) 8214 8397 who currently manages the association's affairs. When we have a minimum of 20 we will run the first course. For further enquiries and details ring David on 8214 8397.