I'm scared the judge will come up with a reason to say my physical evidence is irrelevant or inadmissible because it was recovered by me and not an officer or something and I also don't know what needs to be done to bring a witness in. I mean, do you just bring them or do you fill out a form? Do I have to let the cop talk to them?
I'm obviously only on here because I'm totally out of options and ideas. I've been reading a lot but I really need someone to tell me about this stuff. You could be helping someone from getting royally fucked over for literally no reason.
Most Helpful Girl
Read the statutes in your state.
Call your local bar association, they have either nights you can go talk to a lawyer (green, but still know the general law) for free or can refer you to a few that might do some kind of pay arrangement.
Read the civil court procedure manuals, you can find your local courts online.
You're going to have to know about subpoenas/process of service (if the witness is involuntary, but still a basic good idea to ensure they attend), rules of evidence (they're different sometimes for print vs video for example and you need to know if the Judge wants courtesy copies, how to respond to motions to exclude etc), and the rules for representing yourself (there are procedures and etiquette you need to follow. Example, learn how to question witnesses. Can you ask leading questions on cross examination, but not direct? It might be strategic to wait to question an unfriendly witness until cross examination if you're not so sure you can avoid improper phrasing).
You're also going to need to be prepped for being questioned. There is strategy in how you respond, and yes, you still have to tell the truth. But it's pretty brutally intimidating, and the opposing attorney will attempt to use your discomfort.
Fyi- you're not entitled to an attorney unless it's a criminal case.
There a lot to pro se, and it isn't something to take lightly. You're going to have to put in the effort to learn what to do if you want to do it well. It is doable, but get reading. Find your local court website, the one you'll be going to, and read every single thing they have about pro se representation and also everything you can about your type of case.
And I'm not an attorney, so please reconsider talking to one. Most will do free consultations for 30-60 min at the least. Call your Bar Association, it'd be under the State, not city.