Fort Bend County Libraries’ Law Librarian, Andrew Bennett, will present a series of “Pro Se Basics” online demonstrations of the informational legal resources that are available to the public at the Fort Bend County Law Library. These programs will be virtual sessions livestreamed via Webex; they will NOT be in person.

The introductory classes will take place on Tuesdays March 2, 9, 16, and 23, from 10:00 to 11:00 am.

The classes will introduce important procedural information for self-represented litigants who wish to begin their legal research, represent themselves in court, or seek resources for their Family Law or Probate issues. Individuals may choose to attend individual sessions or the whole series.

The material that will be discussed is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Librarians cannot provide legal advice or recommend specific forms.

The March schedule is as follows:

· March 2 – “Advanced Legal Research.” This class covers search strategies using the libraries’ databases. Learn how to use Boolean operators, natural language, and special characters to narrow searches. In addition, the class will demonstrate how to begin a simple search and how to narrow searches.

· March 9 – “Courthouse 102.” This class covers the introduction to civil litigation after the answer phase, including discovery, trial, and post-trial. Learn about resources that can be used to address these issues, and become aware of various problems that could arise.

· March 16 – “Probate 102.” This class covers information regarding Probate Courts in Fort Bend County. Learn specific rules and policies for the courts, where to find and file paperwork, and where to find additional legal assistance.

· March 23 -- “Courthouse 101.” Self-represented litigants will get a basic introduction to the legal system. Learn about the difference between civil and criminal cases, the basic parts of a legal document, the different types of legal documents, and where to file legal documents. Gain a better understanding of the differences between district courts, county courts, and justice of the peace courts, learn how they interact with each other, and how individuals might be involved with the courts.

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The series will continue in April.

The classes are free and open to the public. Registration is required; a link to the Webex session will be emailed to participants who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the Law Library at 281-341-3718.

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