Litigating can be long and boring… And at times it can also be an absolute bummer. The latter of which is especially true when you’re going at it alone, with no experience on how to engage in this particular realm and the opposing counsel (perceivably) throwing monkey wrenches into the mix that you are sure spells disaster for your case before it even had a chance to be heard before the court. Fortunately, a lot of that latter part is just the ol’ imagination of mine blowing things way out of proportion; however, that didn’t stop me from allowing the “bummy” part of litigating, in addition to life — whatever curve may come — to take hold of me.
After suffering from a few litigating missteps (done on my behalf, of course), and [somewhat] influenced by the [so-called] intimidating presence of the defense attorneys, I caved (although, some would call “being smart”) and made additional attempts at finding an attorney who could help me out. Since money (of which I had none) had always been the great determining factor for retaining proper representation, and where there was no one I found who was willing to do it either pro-bono or on contingency, I used the resources of our fine court system to motion for the recruitment of counsel. If nothing else, just an interning, second-year-in paralegal would suffice.
My motion was denied.
That should’ve been a crushing blow for me, especially when I did the research and found out that counsel is rarely (if ever) appointed to indigent litigants in civil matters. That is… if not for the reason as to why: Order Denying Motion for Counsel.
I had to read it a few times just to see if I were interpreting things correctly. See, another dimension I have begun to both discover and appreciate in this particular “theater of war” are the nuances; in this case: with regard to the written word. Co-mingling with one’s own interpretation, this is one of the reasons why a savvy attorney can argue the same black-and-white statutes in favor of or against their client. The defendant surely (sloppily) staked most of their position on this. I picked up on opposing counsel “talking sideways” in their answer; focusing on the content instead of the context of my complaint (although, I’m sure they got shook by what was alleged and averred).
Their answer to my amended complaint (brought forth, in part, by what was said and unsaid in their previous response; and, admittedly, a bit of that so-called intimation I at the time felt) contained, more or less, the same amount of “nothing” as their former — albeit, toned down on the commentary and focused on [selectively] confirming or denying elements. However, it, too, curiously had things that made me pause and smile (i.e. things they otherwise hadn’t yet acknowledged). I likened this exchange between us thus far to having demonstrated something impressive from such a person, toward an unsuspecting opposition who maintains an unfazed (although very much affected) disposition.
But I can see it in the nuances…
Having said that, what I tend to derive from the aforementioned order — in addition to the entirety of actions thus far taken by all sides in this matter — is this resolve: In my case, it’s not that I necessarily didn’t qualify for the recruitment of counsel, it’s just that I clearly didn’t need it. I’ve demonstrated a comprehension of the rules both local and federal; how to conduct oneself during civil procedure; I’ve framed cohesive (although not always concise, nonetheless engaging) pleadings — some of which rightfully admitted, some of which rightfully denied; and — especially upon meeting the magistrate during the pretrial hearing — left an indelible impression upon Her Honor that caused her to convey to me, “you got this.”
In the end, I guess I do know what to think… (or, at least infer). Winning or losing this case is an immaterial element for me to focus on. Facts are facts, and the judge (or jury) will be smart enough to wade through that much. What should be of the utmost importance is the presentation of my claim(s), the ability to follow the rules, and an overall demonstration of respect for the court system — at times, flawed as it may be. Check, check, and check. My truth has remained fundamentally consistent throughout the revisions, and I am furthermore confident of the substantiating evidence that is both currently in my possession and what has yet to be remitted by the defense during our discovery; admittedly, the court acknowledges that I’m on the right path; and (thanks to a few years as a theater major at a phenomenal performing arts school) I think I can deliver a compelling opening and closing argument.
Yeah… I got this.