and legal forms you can buy, and dispense with an attorney (o.k., so they hate me)
This is probably the Daddy of them all, and so helpful, I think lawyers would like to see a “keep out” sign for the likes of us pro ses.
This is an excellent encyclopaedia with full discussion of legal terms and concepts, and not without welcome humor
I find that one of the best free sources for a layman’s explanation of the law and its legal terms is Wikipedia. Type in a legal word, and you’ll find yourself on a journey.
But quite apart from legal explanations, I find that Wikipedia has become a sine qua non in my life. Sign in and become a user, and if you even have a half a mind, because it isn’t half a bit complicated, you will probably use it every day. There are many conventions to learn, but you can become a valuable contributor, and add what you know about all manner of things. And it’s laiden with internal and external links. It’s quite free, but this is a place where I happily make a small money contribution.
Legalzoom will help you prepare documents without an attorney, but it will cost something
Here’s another, Lawdepot, and again, of course, it will cost
Very comprehensive site. I heard from the editor. Here’s what he said:
My name is Ashlee Acevedo and I am the Editor of Laws.com Free Legal Forms. I was reviewing your legal website when I came across the page. I was thoroughly impressed with the criminal justice-related resources you’ve compiled, the Free Legal Forms would be a wonderful addition to that. Each forms comes with related articles that can provide more detailed information about the issues at hand, whether it is immigration, child support or a traffic ticket.
Free Legal Forms on Laws.com is aimed at providing thousands of free legal forms as well as instructional videos and articles that can be useful to hearing and visually impaired users and anyone preparing their own legal forms. Each form comes with suggested forms that may also be needed and related articles that can provide more detailed information about the issues at hand, whether it is immigration, child support or a traffic ticket. All forms can be uploaded in the pdf format to be filled out or printed.
I spoke to the Florida lawyer, Frederick Graves, who created this site, two or three years ago. I asked him to send me the program so I could look at it, and test it, and see if I could recommend it. He told me he would not do this, I would have to buy it, and it is quite expensive ($249). So I bought it. Here’s what I think:
If you have the time and have a secret desire to be a lawyer, and want to 1. get your license (but this way, the course won’t officially count) or 2. ride your lawyer to make sure he/she is behaving, sure, buy it and get wise (except that if you do, your lawyer will drop you, and won’t want to represent you). But if you think that 3. Your time in court representing yourself armed with this new-found knowledge will FORCE the bench to respect you and follow the law, then think again. You will find that the bench will favor the professional opposition and put roadblocks in your way, because you didn’t follow the judge’s personal rules of his court, and he’s going to run it his way, and he doesn’t like you.
How are you obstructed? By causing you to spend huge amounts of time figuring out the rules. “Does he want blue-backs on his briefs? How can I serve the papers? I didn’t staple my work correctly? Can I get quick transcripts? Your clerk won’t give me any time. Why do I have to deal with the court reporter directly? How much do I pay the court reporter? Do I have to get in line to report to court if I don’t have a badge? Can I get extra time to put together my quick objections to the bench’s latest outrage so I can file in the COA? How many copies? Bluebacked? Where and how should I staple the paperwork? How many pages are the limit? What fonts do they require? This judge once served on the COA? Why won’t the judge allow me time in his chambers to discuss the case off the record, but does invite the lawyer all the time? Why do I only get copies of his orders if I know to ask for them, but the lawyer gets them automatically? Why does the judge overlook it when the lawyer doesn’t follow the order, but if I don’t, I get into trouble? Why does the lawyer get the freedom to arrange his schedule but I don’t? Why won’t the judge force my opponent to appear in court, but tells me the attorney is there instead which is fine? I’m here, aren’t I? Why do I easily get sanctioned, but a lawyer doesn’t, even though I bring their misbehavior to the attention of the bench?
So buy his creation if you want. And pray that you have a sympathetic judge who hates lawyers. You might find that to be the case in the U.K. where judges go to judge school. In the USA, all judges are lawyers, which is why they are buddy-buddies with the professionals. They all went to law school together, and you didn’t. I first went into court thinking that I was in a safe place. On the contrary, you are in a hostile environment, and you are sniped at. At least in Libya, they’re on the street. Here, it’s civilized. And “they” have their ways. It’s hidden in the rules where the rubber hits the road that you won’t find on this site. Everyone’s against you, judge, clerk, bailiff, reporter, deputies. And what’s worse, they pretend to like you, and pretend to be helpful. I can only tell you that “my” judge put me in jail the night before I was to appear and present my case! He formed that impression of me during pre-trial proceedings. But he always acted nice. You can read all about it elsewhere on this site.
Which is why I built it. Donations would be welcomed, because advertisements will never appear here, and I’m not a 501(c)3.
For Personal Injury do-it-yourself claims, here’s a good one (costs a bit)
Witkin is a valuable legal resource, often cited in cases
The Witkin Library
Here’s a site that will lead you to other self-help sites, including paralegal schools online, put up by blogger Donna Mitchell.
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