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Pixsy Letter (photographer has history of suing)

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A Lawyer:

--- Quote from: aot on September 30, 2018, 11:30:03 AM ---
Can a person or organization represent herself/himself/themselves in a civil court case without having a lawyer?

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It depends on the jurisdiction that you are litigating in, but in general, a person can represent themselves but an organization must retain an attorney. I have been involved in cases where an organization tried to self-represent, and the court struck all of their pleadings, ordered them to retain counsel by a certain date, and entered default against them when they did not retain an attorney.

With that said, it sounds like you have not been sued yet. Are you certain that they are actually going to sue you?

Matthew Chan:
Yes, people can represent themselves if they don't have a lawyer. But people who represent themselves "pro se" in court have to be VERY mindful that is going to very difficult to outlawyer the other side. It is also fraught with risks. Your chances of losing are very high if one tries to simply and purely "argue the law". There are pro se benefits in that opposing counsel and even the judge will be frustrated because they will have to be extra careful with you and give you extra benefit of the doubt to be fair and not be accused of taking unfair advantage. They absolutely hate dealing with pro se defendants because there are so many pitfalls. There is the appearance that it is not a fair fight. That is why opposing lawyers often PREFER you lawyer up so they don't get accused of improprieties which is a larger headaches than the case they are working. Those potential accusations can cause lots of administrative headaches. 

There is a also a degree of tenacity, toughness, and attitude one has to have to do so. That is not something everyone has. A few people I know (including myself) have been successful in representing themselves but it ain't because we became super-lawyers overnight. It is the toughness to push forward and fight for your position even when you are out of your element. Positive outcomes often occur when the opposing side sees uncertainty, unintended consequences, or when they realize that their efforts are not "worth the grief".



--- Quote from: aot on September 30, 2018, 11:30:03 AM ---Matthew,
We are preparing for a potential court case by Pixsy/Mr. Marco Verch (photographer) and we don't have money to hire a lawyer. Can a person or organization represent herself/himself/themselves in a civil court case without having a lawyer?


--- Quote from: Matthew Chan on September 08, 2018, 05:50:58 PM --- And most people tell me they settle because of the legal fees to hire a lawyer to defend, not the fear of the actual judgment itself.

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Matthew Chan:
I would like to add that an "organization" whose only assets are their desk, computer, printer, and a corporate checking account, don't generally have much to fear from a default judgment. Unless someone really has an axe to grind, it is hard to see any lawyer expending the energy and resources to try to extract funds from such a small-time scenario.


--- Quote from: A Lawyer on October 01, 2018, 01:59:31 PM ---It depends on the jurisdiction that you are litigating in, but in general, a person can represent themselves but an organization must retain an attorney. I have been involved in cases where an organization tried to self-represent, and the court struck all of their pleadings, ordered them to retain counsel by a certain date, and entered default against them when they did not retain an attorney.

With that said, it sounds like you have not been sued yet. Are you certain that they are actually going to sue you?

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Matthew Chan:
I agree on all points.  However, the thing I would add to this is that in that a few pro se cases I have communicated with, it appeared to have help secure a favorable settlement than if they just rolled over.  I would like to point out that this is only anecdotal and what was relayed to me. Pro se or not, most of these types of cases, the plaintiffs want a settlement. They don't want to expend the resources to "go all the way." The willingness to be pro se shows a certain amount of grit. There is also the leverage and dynamic of one side expending $400/hour and the pro se person not expending any resources beyond their time and energy.

But I definitely agree people have to ready to assume the many risks of going "pro se". But I have to root for the underdog and also say there are some "unconventional opportunities" that can open up if one plays to them.


--- Quote from: Ethan Seven on September 30, 2018, 10:35:24 PM ---What makes you think a German company with no real presence in the US is going to sue you???    They are not a law firm. 

Yes, you can represent yourself, but it is usually a bad idea if you want to mount a substantive defense.   Federal Court is not the People‚Äôs Court, missed deadlines and missteps can lead to request for sanctions.  It is not impossible, but if the otherwise knows what they are doing and you do not, it can get ugly for you.

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