Be Your Own Lawyer is here to help you, but it is important to make sure there are no misunderstandings. On this page we’ve included information that will hopefully makes things a little clearer and prevent any confusion.
Be Your Own Lawyer will help you represent yourself, but we cannot represent you. If that’s not confusing enough consider that we are lawyers, but we are not and will not be your lawyers. All that can be a little confusing, so we’ve put together a brief agreement that spells all this out.
In the course of helping you with legal matters you’ll probably be sharing quite a bit of information with us, a lot of it personal. You have a right to know how we handle your information, and to be assured that whatever you send or tell us will remain absolutely confidential.
While Be Your Own Lawyer can and will help you represent yourself, it is important that you understand that there are some things that we cannot do. Here is a summary of what we can and cannot do in terms of helping you represent yourself:
We cannot provide you with legal representation. While we are attorneys, because of licensing issues, we cannot be your attorneys. So while we can provide you with help on every aspect of your case, in the end, it will be you who are representing yourself.
to see the kinds of cases that we think you should hire a lawyer for.
Of course there’s an agreement. We’re a bunch of lawyers. What did you expect?
In fairness though, we’ve tried to keep things simple. Still, it’s important that you, as well as we, understand how we can help you and at the same time, understand what we can and cannot do for you. So by accepting our services, you:
Agree hat the services we are providing you are limited to education, information, research and support. We are not, will not be, and cannot be your attorney(s). Our services are limited to helping you represent yourself. You agree that you understand that we are not providing legal representation or legal services.
You acknowledge that we have made it clear that although everyone that works with Be Your Own Lawyer is an attorney, they no longer actively practice law, and their licenses to practice law may have become inactive. They are probably not licensed in the jurisdiction in which you reside or in which legal matters that you seek information regarding arise. In short, you understand that in terms of being licensed in any particular state, no one at Be Your Own Lawyer is a licensed attorney.
You also acknowledge that we have made it clear that neither Be Your Own Lawyer or any of the attorneys affiliated with it maintain any type of general liability, professional liability, errors and omissions or similar insurance coverage from which any claims that you might assert, for any reason, might be paid.
You agree that we make no warranty or promise as to the outcome of any matter in which we provide you information. It should be obvious that we can’t guarantee outcomes, but we need to say it just to make sure there is no misunderstanding.
With respect to information we provide you, we represent only that it is produced as the result of research by individuals who have actively practiced law in one or more jurisdictions in the U.S. as licensed attorneys. We like to think that we have a lot of expertise, gained over the years, but obviously, we can’t guarantee that we’re extra smart, or even infallible. We conduct research for you using available computerized legal research resources to which we subscribe, but again, cannot guarantee the accuracy of those sources.
Finally, you agree that the information we provide you is provided for your benefit. You will not repost it on the internet or otherwise publish it We’re not being greedy or picky here. The research services that we use copyright their material, so we have to be sure it doesn’t get used improperly.
We understand that in exchanging information with us, privacy is a major concern.
Most legal matters are highly personal and confidential At Be Your Own Lawyer we understand that. We actually believe that we offer you more privacy and confidentiality than any practicing attorney could proivde.
– In the United States the attorney-client privilege is being seriously eroded. In many cases, there are so many exceptions that it is more of a myth than a reality.
– None of our records are located in or stored on computers or servers located within the United States, and our records are therefore not subject to subpoena there. If somehow a subpoena even arrives, it goes in the trash!
– We will never sell or distribute any information about or concerning you. We are in the business of helping people represent themselves, not selling mailing lists. We do not share any information with anyone!
– We retain anything that you send us only so long as needed to provide you with assistance. When we have finished work for you, and you agree, we securely delete any of your materials or information pertaining to you. Unlike practicing attorneys we are not required, and therefore do not keep copies of records for years and years.
– We maintain no paper or hard copy files of any kind anywhere. Everything is limited to electronic files that can be securely deleted. – Emails to and from you are copied to the encrypted electronic file we maintain for you. They are never simply left on email servers to be harvested later by nosy people.
We believe that everyone is entitled to privacy and confidentiality. At Be Your Own Lawyer, we do our best to protect yours.
As much as we believe that people can represent themselves in court, there are some kinds of cases where that’s just not a good idea. Below we list some of these and the reasons why you if you have one of these, you will probably be better off hiring a lawyer.
When your freedom is at stake, you don’t want to mess around. Also, negotiations regarding charges, discovery, hearings and other issues require the partiipation of an attorney.
If you’re involved in a dispute with a spouse over property we can help you should you choose to represent yourself. In the end you’re really just fighting over stuff and in the scheme of things, stuff is not that important. On the other hand if custody and other issues involving your children are in dispute you need to hire the best family law lawyer that you can afford.
These cases can be very complex in terms of evidence and the manner in which they are presented. Expert witnesses are required and often these witnesses will not work with pro se clients Costs can be very high. If you have a good case attorneys specializing in malpractice cases will usually take these cases on a percentage fee basis. These cases involve extensive discovery, including depositions which are better accomplished with an attorney knowledgeable in this area.