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Self represented litigants

Best Practices in Handling Cases with Self-Represented Litigants

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Course Location

Santa Fe, NM

Why should I take this course?

Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) now appear in court dockets in almost every area possible including domestic relations, traffic, criminal misdemeanor cases, small claims, and probate. SRLs pose a special problem for the judge presiding over such cases because SRLs are often not aware of courtroom procedures and evidentiary rules. Questions include: What is the role of the judge in the adversary system if one party has no lawyer? What control, if any, should the judge exercise over the presentation of evidence? Should a judge comment on the evidence? Should a judge call a missing witness? There are many more questions for judges in striving to maintain the integrity of the justice system and ensuring that the litigants have a fair and just trial. This course is designed to assist you in dealing with these tough questions.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for judges who decide on civil and criminal cases involving SRLs and who need information about issues dealing with management of those cases involving SRLs.

Who are the members of the faculty?

Members of the faculty include persons who have a wide and diversified background in working with self-represented litigants.

How is this course taught?

This course is taught through lecture, small group discussion, question and answer, and experienced learning field trip to the local courthouse.

What should I tell my presiding judge or funding agency so that my attendance will be approved?

How a judge deals with SRLs is critical to management of court dockets as well as the public’s perception of the justice system. This course will help judges appropriately deal with SRLs to best serve the courts system and the public.

Whom should I contact for more information?

For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (800) 255-8343 or registrar@judges.org.


October 23, 2023
October 26, 2023


Santa Fe, NM