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Why Representing Yourself in a Legal Dispute May Be a Bad Idea

Posted by M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola | May 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

 When you have a legal dispute with another person or company, representing yourself may be a bad idea. While some people do represent themselves, it can lead to early defeats, problems with court rules, trouble resolving a dispute, or even dismissal of the case.

Early Defeats

First, self-representation could lead to defeats and disappointments very early in the dispute. People and businesses that want to bring legal claims often send demand letters or approach the other parties before filing lawsuits. This early stage of the case is frequently crucial for locating evidence and gathering helpful arguments. Unfortunately, people without legal training may not recognize the key legal elements of the claim. You may inadvertently miss something that could affect the entire claim, at the very beginning of the case.

Problems with Court Rules

Without legal training, you may have difficulties doing research into court rules and case law. Lawyers with knowledge and experience may have handled cases similar to yours before. They already know the relevant cases and how to follow the court rules. Using a lawyer can save you time and trouble, as well as save you from unexpected legal errors.

Trouble Resolving a Dispute

Lawyers have practice in dispute resolution techniques such as mediation or settlement negotiations. With legal help, you may be able to resolve your dispute more quickly than if you represented yourself. Further, the other parties in the dispute will likely have lawyers. When you have a lawyer on your side, you can better address their demands.

Negative Outcomes

People who decide to represent themselves may learn when it is too late that they should have hired a lawyer. Some claimants face the unfortunate result of having their lawsuits dismissed or they fail to appeal important decisions made by the court in the early stages of litigation until the time has passed to appeal the decision. Others end up spending a lot of their own time pursuing or defending a lawsuit that could have been resolved more quickly. In sum, hiring a lawyer can save you time and trouble, as well as potentially producing a better outcome for you in the dispute.

To learn more about legal representation in The Bahamas, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.

The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon the information contained in this website.  This website is designed for general information purposes only and the information provided should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

About the Author

M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola

M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola is a civil and commercial litigation attorney and an accredited civil and commercial mediator. Margaret has over 21 years' experience in legal practice in the United Kingdom, Jamaica and The Bahamas.


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