Courts bend over backwards to assist pro se litigants

It’s not easy to have a lawsuit dismissed just because an employee tries to represent herself in court. Judges often seek to even the playing field by giving second or even third chances to those pro se litigants so they can get their arguments straight—and maybe even to encourage them to hire a lawyer.

Recent case: Victoria, who is black, claimed that she was repeatedly passed over for promotions in favor of white applicants with less experience. She filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination under Title VII and the ADEA and amended the complaint once.

Her employer moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming immunity. That’s when Victoria finally hired an attorney.

The employer argued Victoria should not get another chance to amend her suit by adding more counts, but the court allowed it. (Jordan v. Ellsworth, WD NY, 2017)