The Minnesota Judicial Branch has new forms for “Responding to a Civil Lawsuit” at www.mncourts.gov/Default.aspx?page=513&category=45. These forms may be useful to pro bono attorneys at brief advice clinics and for unbundled legal services. The forms include an Answer, Affidavit of Service, and Instructions. The instructions strongly advise pro se parties to get legal advice.
The Minnesota Court’s Self Help Center website includes additional materials explaining the civil lawsuit process at www.mncourts.gov/selfhelp under the Civil Actions topic. Included there is the booklet “What to Expect as a Self Represented Plaintiff or Defendant in a Civil Trial” covering the steps in a trial, settlement, burden of proof, evidence basics, and other topics.
Directing clients to these resources before or after a consultation may help prepare them for meeting with you, and reduce the time you spend explaining basic information.
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April Tip of the Month – Court Forms Useful for Unbundled Legal Services