Opening Statements

The Lawsuit Guide for Dolts

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With the proliferation of simplified guidebooks on the market, perhaps The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Lawsuits was inevitable.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich., attorney Victoria Green penned the 320-page guide, which was published in September. Green, who also teaches business law and political science at Baker College, says the book is intended to inform nonlawyers about what they can expect in the civil law process, so they’ll be more comfortable with it if they wind up in court.

“I teach undergrads, and they have a good TV grasp of how the legal system works,” she says, “but the reality is totally beyond them. They don’t understand that cases are not settled in a one-hour episode.”

The book examines common consumer suits, including torts, product liability, contracts, will contests, family law and class actions.

Green doesn’t take a definitive position on pro per or pro se representation. “I didn’t want to write a ‘how to’ book,” she explains. “But there are two issues with pro per: First, do you have the knowledge about the area of law to self-represent? And second, are you too close to the situation to make reasonable legal decisions? I don’t represent myself on a traffic ticket.”

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