civil litigation, access to justice, alternative dispute resolution


The traditional view of the courts in their handling of unrepresented litigants has been that those who proceed pro se must look out for themselves and that there is no constitutional right to receive personal instruction from the trial judge on courtroom procedure. The opposing view, which has received increasing support, is that courts have a duty to ensure that pro se litigants do not lose their right to a hearing on the merits of their claim due to ignorance of technical procedural requirements. This Article explores the treatment of unrepresented litigants in ADR (alternative dispute resolution) settings, contends that in these settings the unrepresented may be substantially more disadvantaged than in litigation, and explores ways in which the risks that arise for the unrepresented in these settings may be reduced, particularly through the provision of counsel.

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Civil Law Commons



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