Common Mistakes Made By Pro Se Litigants In Appeals

  • Not understanding the difference between the Notice of Appeal and the opening appellate brief.
  • Not understanding the short deadline to file the Appellant’s Notice Designating the Record on Appeal once they file the Notice of Appeal.
  • Not understanding that critical mistakes made in the trial court, such as failing to object or make certain arguments, cannot be “undone” before the Court of Appeal.
  • Not paying for a court reporter at critical hearings and even at trial or arbitration.
  • But the most common mistake is not realizing how much representing themselves harmed their case and led to its dismissal at what was probably still the pleading stage of litigation.

By the time you’re at the appeal stage, it could be too late. While your case is still alive in the trial court, money is often well spent getting a lawyer’s help crafting your complaint or responding to a demurrer.

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