Testifying Pro Se


#1

I will be taking the stand and testifying pro se. Am I allowed to bring anything to the stand with me, such as a list of questions to ask myself, or do I just get up there and deliver one long monologue?

Also, do I bring my exhibits up to the stand with me, or do I have to return to my table stand to get them and hand them out?


#2

You will not be allowed to deliver a monologue from the stand, nor will you ask yourself questions. The judge will likely ask you questions and you will be given more leeway in your answers, but again will not be allowed to deliver a monologue. As for the exhibits, ask the judge of course, but I assume you will not have to travel back and forth to the table and will be allowed to have them at the stand when you testify.


#3

Sorry to add on, but I had this question too and thought we could both benefit.

So, if a judge will not let you deliver a monologue and will ask you questions instead, would it be beneficial to have the other witnesses (that you will lead through questions) testify first? Otherwise, how would a judge know what questions to ask? What if there is a point you need to make that the judge does not get around to asking because she doesn’t know about it? (My judge is female)


#4

I would suggest that you have your other witnesses testify first, as that will lay the framework for your case. As a pro-se litigant the judge will likely allow some wiggle room and allow you to answer a catch all question such as “is there anything else you would like to tell the court?”.


#5

Great! Thanks for the answer. I hope it helps us both.