"I think you should represent yourself."
It was actually my lawyer that recommended I proceed pro se. He's not keeping up with my opponents high powered attorney and their frivolous motions and endless gamesmanship tactics. I want to step in and take some control. I want to put myself in the ring and stop the painful, demoralizing, blindsiding, life-draining intimidations. Stop the crooks from continuing to cheat me and my non profit organization and protect anyone else I can. I want justice. I want to be the hero. I want to become the lawyer.
At the same time I'm beyond nervous, physically sick to my stomach, horrified that I'm not only naïve but far too ignorant in litigation to withstand the power of the paid and the experienced.
In between these ups and downs, I lay the fears and dreams aside and scour the internet for knowledge. I scour the books for understanding of the law, understanding of the rules, understanding of the court. I begin to learn little by little the structure, the stage, the art, the hard earned lessons and ways of the interconnected layers of law the litigant must not only memorize but master.
The first hearings against the opposing counsel, and in the presence of the judge leave me cold and numb. But I refuse to settle for bitter, nor accept frustration as my only future. I refuse to make excuses, and instead face my own deficits for the sake of my case. I learn to understand the legal issues. I learn to apply the law. I learn to communicate with the courts the way they need to hear it. I learn to win.