Book Title:

Represent Yourself In Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case (Represent Yourself in Court) (Paperback)
by Paul Bergman, Sara J. Berman-Barrett, Lisa Guerin

Editorial Reviews:

New Orleans Times

An excellent resource that outlines what’s involved in representing yourself in court from presenting evidence to the rules of cross examination.

Library Journal

Highly recommended for even modest legal self-help collections.

USA Today

When it comes to self-help legal stuff, nobody does a better job than Nolo.

Book Description

Prepare and present a winning civil court case!

Written in plain English, Represent Yourself in Court breaks down the trial process into easy-to-understand steps so that you can act as your own lawyer – safely and efficiently. Veteran attorneys Bergman and Berman-Barrett tell you what to say, how to say it, even where to stand when you address the judge and jury.

Armed with the simple but thorough instructions in Represent Yourself in Court, you can be heard and taken seriously in any courtroom. And better yet, you’ll be well prepared to achieve good results, without having to pay a lawyer’s ransom.

Learn how to:

  • file court papers
  • handle depositions and interrogatories
  • comply with courtroom procedures
  • pick a jury
  • prepare your evidence and line up witnesses
  • present your opening statement and closing argument
  • cross-examine hostile witnesses
  • understand and apply rules of evidence
  • locate, hire and effectively use expert witnesses
  • make and respond to your opponent’s objections
  • get limited help from an attorney on an as-needed basis
  • monitor the work of an attorney if you decide to hire one

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

The 5th edition is completely updated to include the latest rules and court procedures, and more sample documents to help guide you through your 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 Divorce Court

22. Representing Yourself in Bankruptcy Court

23. Getting Help From an Attorney: Hiring a Legal Coach



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.