Affordable Access To Justice


Trials


Trials are expensive adversarial proceedings, and most cases are settled, not tried. Paladin will help you settle your case. But if settlement is not possible, Paladin will try your case, with the understanding that procedure is more
powerful than the facts. If you do not know the Rules of Civil Procedure or the Rules of
Criminal Procedure, you might think of this procedural power, generally, as loopholes or
technicalities. Paladin knows the Rules of Civil Procedure and of Criminal Procedure and
knows that they are not mere technicalities.

In the triune nature of litigation, facts are the grist; substantive law is the
grindstone; and procedure is the energy that starts a case and moves it along
through trial and appeal. Procedure places the facts under the grindstone, and procedure
turns the grindstone slowly. You may know, or think that you know the facts of your
case. But if you do not know the applicable Rules of Procedure, you must lawyer up.

Facts are memories, perhaps documented digitally, on paper, or in flesh—the
trash heap, the archeological dig of the past—and the substantive law is the grindstone—solid
but useless without facts and the kinetic energy of procedure. Faithful execution of a
codified procedure is the civilized administration of justice. Because of the importance of
procedure in our system of justice, the substantive law proclaims that pro se parties must
comply with procedural rules to the same extent as parties represented by attorneys.
Therefore, you should lawyer up.

There are signs in every courthouse, near the clerk’s office, to the effect that
“Clerks Are Not Allowed To Give Legal Advice.” There are several reasons for those
signs. Do not rely upon the clerks in the courthouse to help you understand and follow
the Rules of Procedure. Lawyer up.