Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case

Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case

by Paul Bergman JD, Sara J. Berman

Paperback(Ninth Edition)

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How to prepare and present a winning civil court case

Many disputes are too big for small claims court but too small to justify a lawyer’s fee. Fortunately, if you are willing to learn the courtroom ropes, you can successfully handle your own case from start to finish.

Represent Yourself in Court breaks the pretrial and trial process down into easy-to-understand steps. Armed with these clear and thorough instructions, you’ll be well prepared to:

    • transition to law school, if you’re a law student

    • file court papers

    • get help from an attorney or legal coach

    • obtain and prepare your evidence, including social media postings

    • handle depositions

    • line up and prepare witnesses

    • present an opening statement

    • cross examine hostile witnesses

    • make and respond to objections

    • pick a jury if necessary

    • deal with the court clerk and judge

Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant, this book will help you handle a bankruptcy, divorce, landlord-tenant dispute, breach of contract case, small business dispute—or any other civil lawsuit.

This new edition is completely updated to include the latest rules and court procedures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781413323085
Publisher: NOLO
Publication date: 09/30/2016
Edition description: Ninth Edition
Pages: 552
Sales rank: 118,363
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.15(d)

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, Nolo). He has also published numerous articles in law journals and regularly gives presentations on how law and lawyers are portrayed in film.

Sara J. Berman received her law degree from UCLA. She is a Professor at the Concord University School of Law, and a founder of the PASS Online Bar Review ( She has authored several bar review course texts and legal articles, and has lectured extensively for BarPassers, West Bar Review, and the Practicing Law Institute. She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal justice, legal writing and analysis, corporations law, and community property law. She is also the coauthor of Nolo’s Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case.

Table of Contents

1. Going It Alone in Court

2. The Courthouse and the Courtroom

3. Starting Your Case

4. Pretrial Procedures

5. Investigating Your Case

6. Settlement

7. Pretrial Motions

8. Proving Your Case at Trial: The Plaintiff's Perspective

9. Proving Your Case at Trial: The Defendant's Perspective

10. Selecting the Decision Maker

11. Opening Statement

12. Direct Examination

13. Cross-Examination

14. Closing Argument

15. Exhibits

16. Basic Rules of Evidence

17. Making and Responding to Objections

18. Organizing a Trial Notebook

19. Expert Witnesses

20. When Your Trial Ends: Judgments and Appeals

21. Representing Yourself in Family Court

22. Representing Yourself in Bankruptcy Court

23. Help Beyond the Book: People, Places, and Publications



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