I am the plaintiff in a case which states that my daughters father has broken our court agreement in seven ways. I have documents and witnesses for evidence. I have written an opening and closing statement even though I don't know if I need them. I have compiled everything into a 3 ring binder for organization. NOW...do I need that opening and closing statement? How does this normally go down? I want to be as prepared as possible so I can strive for the best possible outcome!
Wow. You gave clearly done a lot of work. You can hit your local county law library and review material regarding opens and closes, maybe attend a few hearings to get a sense of what 'good' looks like.
You asked how it goes for pro se litigants---here goes......If you are facing experienced counsel, you are NOT on a level playing field. He/she may get your evidence and witnesses excluded, ir worse turn them on you, shred your opening, under -cut your close and make points that one gains with years of experience. Attorneys spend years honing trial skills, attending week long custody hearing seminars, taking annual Continuing Legal Education courses, use mentors, peers and nationally recognized experts just to maintain basic trial advocacy skills.
The best thing you can do at this late stage is attend as many such hearings as you can and watch the attorneys---learn to recognize what works and how to deliver the same.
I wish you all the best---good luck.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.