Is an Attorney a Luxury or a Necessity?
I realize that there has lately been a growing trend for people to feel they don’t need an attorney. They think they can handle legal matters without an attorney. They are acting “pro se” and therefore representing themselves. I certainly understand why this movement away from legal representation has surfaced. It is almost always viewed as a cost savings measure. Legal representation does not come cheap. Often, the more experienced an attorney, the more he/she will charge per hour. One must however look at the risk in representing oneself. Often times, the money you may initially save will be lost many times over in the long run.
Please understand that individuals who represent themselves are held to the same degree of knowledge as a licensed attorney who has graduated from a law school and subsequently passed the Bar Examination. Obviously, a non attorney cannot possibly have the knowledge and experience. Imagine foregoing a physician or dentist to save money. Would you fill your own cavities or remove your own appendix? Why would you then take on the task of representing yourself in a matter which could be life altering?
I recently had two consultations with individuals who went to court without representation. Each of them thought it would be a “walk in the park”. They each believed their positions were the correct positions and could not in their wildest dreams believe that they could lose at a hearing before a knowledgeable judge. They unfortunately learned that often times it’s not about who is right or wrong, it is about who is able to present his/her position in a court of law. It is always about the ability to prove something to a judge. There are certain rules that apply in the courtroom. It is not as simple as most people think. Letters, affidavits, reports are not admissible. Live witnesses are required to be present. Rules of evidence must be followed. If evidence is not properly presented, it will be excluded. This is exactly what happened to both of these individuals who came to see me. They had no idea what to do when they appeared before the Judge. Both of them walked out of court confused and upset at the system.
So now each of them came to see me to help them undo something which has already been ruled on by a judge. This is an extremely more difficult task than attempting to get a judge to rule more favorably in the first place. More difficult means more time. As we all know, more time requires more attorney’s fees. So in the long run each of them saved some money initially, only to spend more in the long run. That is being “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish”. Perhaps an attorney is not really a luxury, but a necessity after all.
For qualified attorney representation in your family law case, avoid acting pro se and contact the Law Firm of Evan H. Baron at 954-385-9160. Our family lawyers can ensure you achieve the best settlement possible.