Equal Access

Materials for Providers of Legal Self-Help Service

Ethical Issues

This section provides background on ethical issues concerned with the changing roles of attorneys, court clerks, judges and self-help center staff in serving self-represented litigants.

Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A Benchguide for Judicial Officers
This benchguide, which was updated in April 2019,  is intended to assist judicial officers in the handling of cases involving self-represented litigants. This benchguide was awarded the Howell Heflin Award by the State Justice Institute (SJI).

California Law Applicable to a Judge's Ethical Duties in Dealing with Self-Represented Litigants

How Can Judges Communicate Effectively With Self-Represented Litigants?

Judicial Techniques for Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants   - Rebecca A. Albrecht, John M. Greacen, Bonnie Rose Hough, and Richard Zorza

Changing Role of Court Clerks and Law Librarians

May I Help You? Legal Advice vs. Legal Information  - Judicial Council of California

Video: May I Help You? Legal Advice vs. Legal Information - Judicial Council of California (Contact equalaccess@jud.ca.gov to obtain a copy of this video.)

Court Clerks Office: Signage  - Judicial Council of California Approved Form

Code of Ethics for the Court Employees of California  (Prepared by the Judicial Council of California)

Guidelines for the Operation of Self-Help Centers in California Trial Courts. Coordinated by the Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants. Released in March 2008.

Selections in Ethics for Facilitators (prepared for the California Conference on Self-Represented Litigants).

Effective Use of Facilitators in the Courtroom  - Sue Alexander and Tom Suhr, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

Short Multi-lingual Disclosure Form and Multilingual Disclosure and Sign-in Sheet  (Prepared by the San Francisco ACCESS Center )