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Pro Se Representation

You do not need to be a lawyer to appear in court, even the U.S. Supreme Court. Any person has the right to represent herself. Persons who represent themselves in litigation are known as "pro se plaintiffs" and "pro se defendants." A pro se party is subject to the same rules of court that apply to attorneys. The pro se litigant that fails to follow court rules and orders is subject to the same sanctions as an attorney.

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What types of cases can I represent myself "pro se?"

You may represent yourself in any type of case. Though acting as your own attorney in a murder trial is highly questionable, some types of cases can be handled pro se with success. For example, it is not uncommon for a spouse to file a pro se divorce petition because the pleadings are typically forms that can be changed to suit the situation.