I have a court case coming up in Maryland District Court. It is a landlord-tenant dispute; we are pro se plaintiffs and the defendants (husband and wife, both landlords to the house I lived at) will be represented by an attorney. There is another plaintiff in addition to myself, my former roommate.
The co-plaintiff and I would like to use direct and cross examination, however we are a bit confused on how to proceed.
Can we call the defendants as witnesses so we may cross examine them during the case in chief? Would we call the defendant as a witness before the case begins? Is doing this known as "compelling testimony" and is this even allowed if the defendants have a lawyer?
Can I direct examine my co-plaintiff?
I have read online it could be advantageous to perform the cross examination before the direct examination. Is this allowed? If so, does this mean I can ask the defendant questions before I ask the co-plaintiff questions?
I understand there are multiple sets of rules in regards to civil procedure, such as federal, state and even local.