Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More and More Litigants Are Appearing Pro Se

Both the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog had recent stories about the fact that more and more litigants are appearing pro se. As the Wall Street Law Journal Law Blog stated:

“The number of people serving as their own lawyers is on the rise across the country, and the cases are no longer limited to uncontested divorces and small claims. Even people embroiled in child-custody cases, potentially devastating lawsuits, and bankruptcies are representing themselves, legal specialists say,” the AP reports.

Worse yet, these do-it-yourselfers are apparently making things worse for the professionals.

To none litigators, you might be surprised about what I am about to say. I prefer to litigant against lawyers. It actually is much easier. With pro se's, one has to spend hours and hours figuring out what there complaint is. If they have an arguable cause of action, pro se's often loose it because it is drowned in hundreds of pages of documents. If your a defendant that is a good thing. When I have a pro se case, I also know that there almost always will be an appeal as they do not stop.

While I do believe that people should have the right to represent themselves, I also believe that no one should do so unless they absolutely have no other choice.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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