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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pro se, Did You know about this?

I learned about becoming a pro se litigant about 25 years ago. In basic terms you represent yourself. You need to be prepared when you attempt this task. It is not rocket science but it does require preparation. I have hired attorneys and I have represented myself as well. The key is don't take on more than you can handle. A 1991 American Bar Association study of self-represented litigants showed:

Persons with incomes less than $50,000 are more likely to represent themselves.
About 20% of self-represented litigants report they can afford an attorney but do not want one.
Self-represented persons are more likely to be satisfied with the judicial process than those who are represented by attorneys.
Almost 75% of those who represented themselves in court said they would do it again.
Self-representation, when combined with the power of modern information technology can be an important means of providing increased access to the legal system. The power of the Internet has given the average person the ability to research and prepare a credible argument in Court. I was a pro se litigant who obtained a divorce, resolved child support issues and was able to lower child support payment.

Please understand that the Court is not going to help you, as a matter of fact they would much rather deal with an attorney. Don't let that stop you they will guide you with nudges. So you have to be flexible and able to catch what tips they give you and run with them.

When you win, you think to yourself that it was all worth it!

The information that I share with the men and women of the World is to help you protect yourself and to have the power to know when something is not right! You see its one thing to know its not right, but its another thing to know it not right and show why its not right!

3 comments:

Pulse4Justice said...

Dear Kenneth:

I commend you for posting this important and valuable perspective favoring pro se litigation. Opinions such as yours deserve mass publication because the American public is entitled to know that self-representation is a viable option when considering the resolution of a legal claim.

While I agree that there are some instances in which citizens should retain and utilize the services of a legal professional, I abhor the suggestion, particularly by those who have a vested interest in supporting the “lawyer monopoly,” that lawyers are an absolute requirement in addressing a legal situation. Self-representation is, in most instances, doable and should at least be investigated as an option before running to a lawyer.

For anyone reading this blog, please so not make the mistake that I detest lawyers. Many of them exist to help their clients to the best of their abilities. There are also many lawyers who work hard to litigate social justice cases, receiving little compensation and even less headlines and fanfare. However, there are a substantial number who are to quick to take a case and bleed the client dry by charging high fees, discouraging self-representation, mediation, or even pre-litigation settlement strategies. These practitioners look upon the clients as “income sources” and use fear tactics and fancy words to persuade their clients that they are absolutely necessary.

By the way, Kenneth, I am the Founder and Executive Director for a non-profit organization called PULSE (People United For Legal System Equality). As you can read from our “Pledge of Solidarity” (http://www.gopetition.com/online/
11773.html), we support advocacy which favors the protection and enhancement of the right to self-representation and to address harassment and abuse that is often directed against Pro Se Litigants by certain members of the judiciary, court administrators, and the opposing attorneys. We could sure use your signature, Kenneth. Moreover, you would do us a great service if you could forward the link to all of your contacts. As I am sure you understand, justice is more likely to be attained from a chorus of the many than from songs sung by the few.

Again, thank you for helping to educate members of the Blogosphere that going Pro Se can be a good thing and is worth looking into.

KENNETH said...

Thank you for your comment, I appreciate what was said. If I can be of assistance please feel free to contact me.

Pulse4Justice said...

You are very welcome!!

Regarding your offer of assistance, I could sure use it with regard to signing and forwarding THE PLEDGE with P.U.L.S.E. Here is the link: http://www.gopetition.com/online/
11773.html

Thank you very much, Kenneth. We really appreciate it!

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