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Representing yourself in court

Court Matters

May 12, 2012
By Kurt D. Johnson - Judge of District Court

I have to admit that one of my biggest frustrations in court is pro se litigants, people who attempt to represent themselves, most often in criminal cases or family law cases such as divorce or child custody matters. Don't get me wrong, I realize it is expensive to hire a lawyer and most people who represent themselves are good folks and they have the right to represent themselves. My frustration is the process - they do not know what to do or how to do it. That is reality, not necessarily their fault. The result, however, is that I am frustrated because I am prohibited by law from giving them legal advice. They are frustrated and upset because they are unsure what to do and the whole process takes much longer than it should.



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