The big question people ask is if it really is possible to represent yourself in legal matters.
Of course it is!!
Does that mean you can be your own lawyer in every case? Just as emphatically, of course not. You would not want to try being your own lawyer if you were on trial for a criminal matter. If you tried to represent yourself in a complex civil matter involving different parties, thousands of pages of documents and dozens of witnesses, you’d get crushed.
But the reality is that the average person doesn’t have those kinds of issues. What they have are day to day legal matters such as setting up businesses, getting information and resources on the best ways to do things, and dealing with litigation and court cases that are fairly straightforward.
The legal profession in America has gone to great lengths to protect itself in every way. They have to. There are so many lawyers in the United Sates that competing with each other is bad enough – competing with the concept that people can actually do things for themselves is unimaginable!!
With rules limiting the providing of virtually any legal assistance to licensed attorneys (rules made by lawyers for lawyers – surprised surprise!!!) the legal profession has created a virtual monopoly, which they jealously and fervently guard. We’ll be talking more about that in future blogs.
Bottom line is that the legal profession has gone to great lengths to convince the public that it is impossible for anyone to successfully represent themselves. They often do this with witty little analogies.
One that we like is “would you try to perform surgery on yourself?” A response to that kind of comment should be simply – how incredibly stupid!
We freely tell everyone that no, you should not represent yourself in every kind of case, and so no, to use the analogy, you should not be performing surgery on yourself. But there’s no reason you can’t go down to the drugstore and get some cold medicine without first seeing a doctor.
So no, you can’t represent yourself in every conceivable case. If you’re arrested and looking at criminal charges get a lawyer! If your child is in trouble and embroiled in the juvenile justice system – get a lawyer!
But if you’re trying to deal with the day to day legal issues that we all face from time to time, at least take the time to talk with us at Be Your Own Lawyer. You really will be surprised to learn how much you can do for yourself!!!