can self-representation work in court?

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[This is a pre-launch posting. We will soon finish construction and “go public.”]

podium SHLEP says:  As programs such as those described in our prior posts here and here are established, fine-tuned, evaluated and updated across the nation, it becomes harder and harder for the judiciary, bar, governmental administrators and leaders, or any other stake-holders to say that Self-Help is an unworkable or unethical pipedream.   Put another way: it becomes easier and easier to find workable models that can make Self-Help Law a viable option for everyday Americans in virtually every courthouse.

Does/can self-help really work?  We agree with this Q&A from MyLawyer.com (a venture of Richard S. Granat & epoq, u.s.)

Q. Can I really represent myself? 

A. We believe that with accurate and complete legal information a person of reasonable intelligence and education can represent themselves in a wide variety of routine and uncontested legal matters. This assumption is based on fact. In an evaluation study undertaken by the University of Maryland School of Law of a sample drawn from over 10,000 pro se litigants in family matters in Maryland Courts, seventy-four (74%) of the reported that they were satisfied with the result and would represent themselves again. Fifty-four (54%) percent reported that they decided to represent themselves because they thought a lawyer would be too expensive, and an additional eighteen (18%) reported that they represented themselves because they did not think that the problem was sufficiently complicated that a lawyer’s services were required. These research findings are supported by similar research in other jurisdictions which are collected at the Pro Se Law Center.

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