There is an old saying that if you represent yourself you have a fool for a client. I admit it may have been a lawyer who coined that phrase. But, there is some wisdom in the saying. You wouldn’t consider performing surgery on yourself, would you?
Jeff Jeffrey’s article, “Rise in unrepresented litigants raises ethical, logistical questions,” in the January 25, 2015 North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, points out that the number of unrepresented litigants is on the rise nationally and in North Carolina. The increase puts added strains on judges and clerks of court, and it may result in non-lawyers attempting to give legal advice. If you represent yourself, you risk not achieving your desired result AND you may be abandoning certain rights and remedies without knowing it.
Are you considering representing yourself in court? Before you make that decision, here are some factors to consider:
- How complex are the issues involved?
- What is the downside if you are unsuccessful?
- How much would a lawyer cost to represent you in your particular matter?
- Are there economical options other than hiring a lawyer to handle all aspects of your case?
Just because you can find a legal form online does not mean that you are using the correct form or that the form is consistent with North Carolina law. And, if you have questions about that online legal form, do you have a way of asking a North Carolina lawyer questions about the form or the procedures in the courtroom?
Irvine Law Firm can help. We offer several levels of assistance to guide you through the courtroom experience.
- Have a legal document you want reviewed? Try our Document Review Service.
- Need someone to explain courtroom practices and procedures? Perhaps our Court Coaching is what you need.
- Not sure you are doing the right thing in trying to represent yourself? Perhaps you should schedule a 15 or 30 minute Online or Telephone Conference just to make sure you are not missing anything.
At Irvine Law Firm we recognize that legal services are no longer “one size fits all.” If you are considering representing yourself, take the next step and contact us. Let us help. Make sure you know what to expect when you go to court and have the confidence that you will be able to present your case and achieve your desired result.