Pro-SeBlog.Com is designed to provide guidance, advice, and resources for people who wish to represent themselves in court. Founder Rich Bergeron is most well known for being sued for $25 million in 2007 by Xyience, Incorporated, and that experience forced him to become his own attorney in order to fight back. Bergeron used a two-prong approach embracing the Internet as both a research tool and a publicity engine.
Bergeron soon discovered that “sucks” or “gripe” sites were one of the most protected forms of peaceful protest available to people in his position. He also researched the legal protections afforded to such sites under the United States Constitution. First Amendment legal precedents and trademark law are specifically designed to insulate these kind of sites from lawsuits brought by those offended or criticized by the content placed on them.
Over the course of a legal battle that is still going on today, Bergeron managed to continue to report on fraudulent activity behind the scenes at Xyience that eventually led to a bankruptcy and reorganziation. Bergeron worked with the trustee designated to handle the case and brought a counterclaim of his own in the case. He faced new owners who were billionaire casino barons and owners of a fight league sponsored by Xyience: The Ultimate Fighting Championship. All the while, the case against him went nowhere.
The key to defending yourself in court that many pro-se practitioners fail to recognize is that legal fees are too expensive for the average person to pay over the course of a lengthy case. When you battle an opponent who doesn’t have money to throw away, the idea is to bury the other side in paperwork. Anything you can do to increase their legal fees could lead to a solution that favors you in the long run, because you have no legal fees when you represent yourself. You may have to pay for paper, copies, and printer ink, but the only other fees you will have to incur are minimal compared to the per-hour rates your opponent will pay for an attorney. If you file a complaint or counter-claim yourself, you will either have to pay the filing fee or file what’s called a “motion to proceed informa pauperis.” If you have a very low income and cannot afford filing fees, informa pauperis status will allow you to go forward without paying fees as long as the judge approves your motion. If you should need to appeal a judge’s decision at any point, you could also face appeal fees, which you can also get informa pauperis status for upon a judge’s approval. The only other expenses you’ll face will be associated with the time you have to take out of your day job to work on the case.
Our blog will provide a variety of hints and guidelines to help you effectively represent yourself in court. We will also include some unique tips on powerful protest methods. Civil disobedience is an art, and it can also be an integral part of a winning strategy when combined with your legal efforts. For more on harnessing the Internet and creative protest efforts, visit our sister site: