ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has created a guide to help non-lawyers represent themselves in court.

Chief Judge Peter Krauser says that approximately 2,000 appeals are filed with his court every year, and more than one in four cases involves at least one party that does not have an attorney. The guide walks non-lawyers through the appeals process including requirements for court filings, definitions and sample documents.

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Krauser says more people appear to be representing themselves because of the economic downturn and a general increase in people turning to courts for resolution, among other causes.

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The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is the state’s intermediate court, above state trial courts but below the state’s highest court.

Printed and online versions of the guide became available earlier this week.

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