Thinking about representing yourself in Court?…. read about it, and the perils of doing so!

There was a recent poll conducted by the Law Foundations of Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and the British Columbia Legal Service society of 259 self represented persons over an eighteen(18) month period.
Many of the cases were in family court, and the rest involved various civil actions. The study noted that many get frustrated, and create many problems for court staff, judges, and others.

Often it is difficult for court staff to help as they do not want to give legal advice. Judges are not there to give legal advice, and shouldn’t be perceived to be bias or acting as a lawyer.
There are rules of evidence, the concept of stare decisis, and various other applications and processes that are difficult to navigate through. Even in Small Claims Court, or Tribunals (LTA etc.) there are complexities which a lawyer can help with.
I am not writing this blog post to promote lawyers, but rather to explain to anyone thinking of going at it alone the complexities of doing so. Ask yourself, if I mess this up on my own, is it really worth it…
Also, while people may get sick of paying fees for lawyers, there are other, more affordable lawyers out there.
The study specifically addressed people who might be thinking of reading up on the internet, and found that this didn`t really help.

If you’d like some advice on a matter, please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Harris. For family matters, I’ll be happy to send you to any number of lawyers I know.

For more information on the study read about it in the Canadian Press

1 thought on “Thinking about representing yourself in Court?…. read about it, and the perils of doing so!

  1. Matthew R. Harris Post author

    Update: I spent the day in the court of appeal today… and witnessed first hand a self representative in action in one of the higher courts of the land. The self rep was problematic, the justices couldn’t understand the issues at hand, and the self rep wasn’t sure of what they could appeal.


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