Lawyers, judges, and academics are giving more and more thought to the whole issue of self-represented litigants in family court, and elsewhere. But no one has brought the best thinking of the rights to which self-reps should be entitled, and the responsibilities they should have, together in one document with the thought and care of JP Boyd in his August 24th, 2015, post titled The rights and responsibilities of the self represented litigant, appearing in his quite terrific JP Boyd’s Access to Justice blog.
This should be posted on the door of every courtroom – and in every family law lawyer’s and judge’s office.
It’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and written in plain language.
If you’ll be representing yourself in a family law matter, take the time to read this and to get an understanding of how you, the opposing lawyer, the judge, and the whole family law system fit together in a productive and meaningful way.
It would be great if every judge said at the opening of court each day: “I’ve read “The rights and responsibilities of the self-represented litigant” and will abide by it. If there’s any lawyer or self-represented litigant in court today who hasn’t read it, my clerk has a copy. I won’t hear your case until it’s been read and accepted.”
So read it. Print it. And keep it handy as a reminder of how the system is supposed to work and how you can help that happen.
Thank you JP for doing this.
PS: JP Boyd is a British Columbia lawyer who is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, an independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Calgary, and has a great njumber of credits and affilations. He’s been writing on family lasw, expecailly as prcticed in B.C., for years and is one of Canada’s most respected and well regared authorities on the subject.
You might be interested in his blogs JP Boyd’s Access to Justice Blog and JP Boyd on Family Law, although it’s mostly for lawyers.
Here’s where to access his post: The rights and responsibilities of the self represented litigant.