American Judges Association



Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 50, Issue 4 (2014)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


The Maryland Access to Justice Commission has excellent resources for court staff to use in learning how they can— and cannot—help self-represented litigants. There’s a bench card and poster listing the things staff can do (such as explaining how the court works) and things it cannot do (like letting someone talk to the judge outside of court or telling someone what to say in court). Answers to questions about what staff may do often are not self-explanatory to court staff, and the Maryland Commission has offered a handy checklist.

There’s also an 18-minute training video for court staff on how to respond to inquiries from litigants. Additional materials for self-assessment and for peer training accompany the video. These materials could easily be adapted for use in other states.