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July 12, 2010

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Tom Gordon, Consumers for a Responsive Legal System

The most disappointing part of this report is that the judges rejected promising solutions such as increased pro se assistance and unbundled legal services in favor of throwing more lawyers at the problem. Whether they are pro bono, paid by the client, or paid by the government, there are not enough lawyers in the country to represent all of the people facing legal issues.

The only way to provide justice to most people using the legal system is for the courts and bars to allow innovative solutions, including more user-friendly court procedures and allowing consumers a choice between lawyers and non-lawyer professionals when seeking help with their legal matters.

Micky

Sometimes the Pro Se litigant is the only way to break a corrupt system. Sure there will be some procedural problems, but in the end, the case is on the docket forever, win or lose. Airing the issue for someone more competent to slay the dragon.

BoozyMitts

Pro Se litigants are hated by the court - even if they are competent to handle the cases, study the rules of procedure, rules of evidence and courtroom decorum. Judges used to be Lawyers (mostly) and protect their own. Pursuant to the US Supreme Ct case Haines v. Kerner amongst others, pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than attorney made pleadings, but those of us who have to pursue our actions on our own, we all know this is not true. Judges hold us to a higher standard and routinely dismiss our cases because us pro- ses are "pesky lil creatures" and do not want to deal with us - even though lots of us bring viable issues to the court. When Judges learn to treat us with the respect that we deserve and allow us to redress our grievances with the government under our protected rights, sure some pro ses will go off the deep end - out of pure frustration with the arrogance that a lot of us have seen the Judges exhibit.

J. W. Doer

The article said, "The judges who saw worse outcomes said the most common problems for pro se litigants are failure to present necessary evidence, procedural errors, ineffective witness examination, and failure to object to evidence properly."

Even in the case where a pro se is able to properly handle their case, there are many instances where judges nuke the case simply to get rid of those bothersome pro se litigants. There is a copyright infringement case going on in the U.S. District Court, Colorado, where the plaintiff and most defendants are pro se. It is a circus. The judges have no control over the pro se defendants who are running amok filing willy nilly. The case is such a mess due to the court losing control that the judges are simply dismissing the defendants rather than examine the facts or enforce the law. Another pro se nutjob has stepped in on behalf of the United States to have the copyright case dismissed. The plaintiff is not getting justice, she being railroaded by the judge.

The judges set the tone for a case. Many hate pro se parties and make it harder for pro se to prevail. So much for justice.

Bruce Wilson

Of course going in with an attorney is generally best, but that is not always possible because attorneys are so expensive. If you want to cut down on the number of pro se litigants, find some way to make representation affordable.

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