There is one very unfortunate thing about our judicial system that is difficult for the average person –that is, it is very difficult for someone in the throws of a dispute or litigation to be able to compete by himself/herself against someone who has an attorney. Civil procedures, legal strategies, ease in the courtroom and comfort in dealing with the Judge – these can all make it very difficult for the average person to “go it on their own” and take on the litigation necessary to bring the dispute to justice.
If someone doesn’t want to spend a “ton” of money or, at least so much that the battle becomes impractical, AND if they cannot find an attorney to help them on a contingency basis (agreeing to be paid from any recovery), then they need to be able to, themselves, become comfortable in taking on the battle. Some cases are just too big or too complicated for a person to represent themselves in Court without an attorney, but a great number of controversies are such that a person should be able to represent themselves with a bit of guidance and encouragement or at least give it a try. (Of course, a corporation or other legal entity cannot do this.)
For a person to do this, they first need to find an attorney that understands their dispute and then get that attorney to explain the details of the legal doctrines involved. Then they need to convince the attorney to spend the necessary time with them to assist them in drafting the appropriate pleadings from a layperson’s perspective and include the right elements or defenses. Then they need to have the court procedures explained to them so they can meet the Courtroom and judicial standards. They then need to have the proper perspective ingrained into their minds so that they can present their case well.
Some attorneys will consider doing this for a client on a simple hourly fee basis for the necessary consultations required, and perhaps even on a reduced hourly fee basis in some cases, and the person can essentially learn how to become their own attorney. This can result in only a small fraction of the otherwise significant expense of litigation with an attorney being in full gear. Of course this is not what might be preferred, but it is better than losing a case by default or from lack of guidance.
The law is designed to bring about justice and judges are positioned to see that justice is served. In this somewhat challenging process, it doesn’t mean that you need to give up and accept less than justice without giving it all you’ve got.