I Don’t Need a Lawyer.

May 16, 2008 – 3:45 pm

One of the problems the legal system is wrestling with these days are parties who represent themselves in Court. This is particularly common in family law situations. One or both parties may not be able to afford a lawyer. They may have no choice but to act on their own behalf.

Often family law trials are difficult emotional experiences for parties, even when represented by lawyers. Acting on their own behalf forces people to also deal with unfamiliar rules in surroundings that can be intimidating at the best of times.

Judges and court staff do the best they can to help people who represent themselves. Also constant efforts are being made to simplify legal rules, to make the judicial system easier to work with, for people who are not legally trained.

More recognition is being given as well to “unbundling” legal services. This means hiring a lawyer to assist in only certain aspects of a family law matter. For example, asking a lawyer for their input at only certain stages of the proceedings, rather than having that lawyer involved from start to finish.

The advantage of “unbundling” is that it can keep the costs down, yet also provide guidance to a party trying to represent themselves.

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