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Pro-Se Litigation: The Right to Defend Yourself in Court

Finding yourself in front of a judge can be an unnerving proposition. Never-the-less court dockets are full in practically every courtroom around the nation. Either one person is suing another for real or perceived damages or someone has been accused of a crime and is facing potential jail time. Despite what we might see on television, good attorneys are hard to find. It seems most of them have set their sights more on the all-mighty dollar than achieving fair and equitable justice.

Pro-Se Litigation: The Right to Defend Yourself in Court

Many people simply cannot afford the thousands of dollars that attorneys typically charge. Retainer fees have to be paid up front and out-of-pocket, then there are the ongoing charges. Every time you visit your lawyer’s office and every time you even make a phone call, there are more charges. Every time a secretary makes photocopies of relevant documents or fills out the blanks on a pre-written legal form there are charges.  You might finally get into court with your attorney in tow only to find that for one reason or another the proceedings have to be put off to a future date. Still, there are charges. It is easy to drain all your resources in just a few months pursuing what should be the simplest of lawsuits.

Fortunately, there is an option to hiring a lawyer to represent you in court. That option is Pro-Se litigation, the right to represent yourself in the legal matters before you. “Pro-Se” is a Latin term. It means “on one’s own behalf”. You are guaranteed the right to represent yourself by statute 28 U.S.C. § 1654 so what are you waiting for? Are you overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork you might have to file? Are you unsure about what to file and when? We can help. Contact us.