By Judge Philip Straniere. Small Claims Court Defense How To Formulate A Winning Strategy Everyone who goes to small claims court goes with one objective in mind: to win. One way to win is to not sabotage your own case by making mistakes that will cost you points in the courtroom. Here are the ten most common and most damaging blunders that can cost you on court day. Too many people immediately run to court without checking out other options, like trying to resolve the problem directly by talking to your potential future opponent or through mediation or similar out-of-court settlement services. Never go to court without taking the time to properly prepare your case. The time to think about proving your case is before you file your case and not after you walk through the courtroom door for your trial. Information is what often wins a case.
By Judge Philip Straniere. It means that you have to be prepared and ready to present your case in an organized manner. It also means that the court can give you some leeway and ignore the strict application of the procedural law in the interest of reaching a just result.
Going to court gives you the chance to tell a story. So, before you go to court, compose the message you want to present.
write a demand letter; file and serve papers; prepare a winning presentation You don't need a lawyer to win in small claims court -- you need to know how to prepare Guide to Small Claims Court provides the information, tips, and strategies you need to sue someone successfully or put up a winning defense in any state.
Prepare your case before you start assuming that you may not win and have to appeal. This may mean:. Organizing your evidence so you can present it in a logical manner, so that an appellate court reviewing what went on can understand what you wanted to prove and how you tried to prove it.
Location is as important in small claims court as it is in buying real estate.
Finding out where to file your case and where it should be heard is an important part of giving yourself a head start in court. Bringing your case in the wrong court or the wrong county leads to an immediate dismissal.
The process can be intimidating, but it is intended for the average person to represent themselves in court and resolve minor legal issues. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Show less Small claims court is a division of a district court with limited jurisdiction. Clinton M. This article was co-authored by Clinton M.
Locating the correct court means checking the small claims rules of your local courthouse first and making sure you have the type of case it can hear.
Legislation may also give you the right to ask for punitive damages if you prove your case. Make lists for all of the following:. You only have one chance to make a first impression on the clerk and on the judge. Comb your hair and get enough sleep the night before court so you sound coherent.
Part of preparation is investigating the various aspects of the case. How to hire an expert or how to get copies of documents currently in the hands of third parties.
Small claims court is generally about money.
One way t When the arguments have been made and countered and the judge has had time to mull over th Understanding Latin Legalese Most lawyers love to throw around Latin phrases. During the e-discovery process, keep the e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Ci Load more.