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Represent Yourself In Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case Paperback – December, 2005
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"An excellent resource that outlines what's involved in representing yourself in court from presenting evidence to the rulesof cross examination." -- New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Highly recommended for even modest legal self-help collections." -- Library Journal
About the Author
Paul Bergman is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and a recipient of a University Distinguished Teaching Award. His recent books include Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (Andrews & McMeel); Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Moore and Binder, West Publishing Co.); and Represent Yourself In Court and The Criminal Law Handbook (both with Berman-Barrett, Nolo). He has also published numerous articles in law journals.
Sara J. Berman-Barrett is an attorney and bar review professor. She is the co-author of Represent Yourself in Court and The Criminal Law Handbook and the author of numerous articles and law course materials.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was NOT disappointed. It does a great job chronologically illustrating common judicial patterns, and it will even give you a spectrum of scenarios in case your court system operates a bit differently. There are example dialogs and mock situations to help you understand what to do in certain situations.
Believe it or not, I didn't need the book in the end. There is a statistic that is published in the book pointing out that over 90% of people who go into court usually settle before an actual trial. Because of this statistic, I mentioned it to the Plantiff's attorney and was surprised to hear, "well, then, make us an offer!"
Had I not had the chance to settle out of court, I would have been very prepared to represent myself.
There were a couple of weak spots in the book, but they were of my own wanting to have more information. One of those areas that the book needs to get up to speed on is electronic documents, such as dealing with e-mails, and techniques in proving that e-mails are legitimate.
I'd also like to mention for those of you who are looking for Child Support help, this is not a good book for that. It has a tiny section on Child Support, then leaves you hanging. This may be because laws vary so much, but I thought I'd at least point it out. The book is more for general concepts, so the info falls short once you begin specializing in certain subject matters.
Whatever your case is about, I can't emphasize enough for you to take a morning off from work to go watch some cases in court. You'll eliminate some fear of the unknown, you'll start to see that attorneys go through a similar set of procedures that you are just as capable of performing yourself, and you'll get a feel for how to talk to the judge and those who might be in the same room as you.
However, I was hoping the book would have went more in detail for the criminal system (such as Traffic Court).
This book still helps someone to understand the basics, but there are substantive differences in civil and criminal courts. The reader should be at least slightly versed to recognize those differences if you intend to represent yourself in anything other than civil court.