Representing Yourself in Court

As a "pro se" the first thing to do is to ask yourself, "Am I sure that I want to represent myself?" In answering that question, you must keep this in mind: you will be held to the standards of a lawyer. You should follow all the rules that apply to lawyers. If you fail to follow the rules, you may be subject to the same penalties as if you were a lawyer.

Although the court personnel, such as the court's staff and the court clerk' staff, can answer some questions about the court's procedures, the law prohibits court personnel from giving you legal advice because the are not trained to do so.

Things to Consider
There is an old saying: "The person who represents himself has a fool for a client." There are at least 2 reasons for this saying. First, you will find that the legal process is complex and difficult to understand. The person on the other side of your case will probably be represented by a lawyer. Without a lawyer, you will be at a disadvantage. Second, you have a personal interest in the outcome of your case, which will deprive you of the objectivity you need to present your case effectively in court.

You improve your chances of winning your case when you have a lawyer represent you. So, you should make the decision to represent yourself carefully.