Tuesday, November 20, 2007
After her husband had died at a hospital, the wife was appointed administrator of her husband's estate. She retained counsel to bring a wrongful death action against the hospital. The lawyer relocated and withdrew from the representation. The wife then filed a pro se complaint, which the defendants moved to dismiss as it was filed by one not authorized to practice and thus a "legal nullity."
The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that "the fact that plaintiff was not licensed to practice law in this state does not render the complaint a legal nullity...the defect in plaintiff's complaint was cured by the subsequebt appearence of a properly licensed and admitted counsel." Nice that substance prevailed here over form. (Mike Frisch)