Be Wary of Self-Representation
According to the Pima County Superior Court research and statistic department, 71% of Pima County Superior Court marriage dissolution cases, in the fiscal year of 2009 to 2010, involve matters in which at least one party was self-representing. Beware, it has been the law in Arizona for nearly 80 years that a self-representing party is to be held to the same standard of knowledge and expertise as an attorney. “A layman who insists upon acting as his own attorney must expect to be treated as if he knew what he was doing.” Ackerman v. Southern Arizona Bank and Trust, 39 Ariz. 484, 7P.2d 484 (1932)
An American Bar Association survey of Judges in 2010 discussing a potential correlation between the economic downturn and self-representation in courts, of note, 60% of the Judges surveyed indicated that fewer parties were being represented by counsel in court, and 62% of the Judges thought the outcomes were worse as a result of being self-represented.
It is believed that self-representation led to the failure to present proper evidence – 94%, commission of procedural errors – 89%, ineffective witness examination – 85%, and failure to object to evidence – 81%. These are very significant and devastating problems that face the self-representing litigant.
Representing oneself can be disastrous. Before embarking on that path, schedule a free initial consultation or visit our website www.simonlawgroupaz.com