Don’t Let The Court Give Your Adversary Special Treatment

Every once and a while I come across a pro se litigant on the other side of the case (note: pro se litigant means someone who is representing him or herself), and this can be a good thing, but it can also be a major irritant

On the positive end, as a lawyer, you have a tremendous advantage against your adversary and you can really do a number on him or her if they don’t follow proper procedure. However, it can be a real pain in the neck because pro se litigants often times make strange arguments (which causes you to do additional research), and courts often give self-represented litigants wider latitude to make procedural errors.

But you can (and you should) remind the court that the California Supreme Court has held that pro se litigants are not entitled to special treatment and are not exempted from the Code of Civil Procedure or the Rules of Court.

This could have a major impact on your case. For example, it could determine whether a court will sustain a demurrer with or without leave to amend. Or, it could determine the outcome of an anti-SLAPP motion if the defendant failed to properly judicially notice a key document.

Remember this the next time you square up against a pro se party.

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