What does pro se mean in legal terms?
In certain legal cases, such as an uncontested divorce, hiring an attorney might be unecessary. When you decide to represent yourself in court, no matter what the legal case is, this is known as pro se representation. “Pro se” is a Latin term for “in one’s own behalf”. People choose to represent themselves in court for a variety of reasons, although they most often do so in civil cases because representation is not a guaranteed right in civil courts as it is in criminal courts. You might, for instance, have a simple case like an uncontested divorce or it could be that hiring a private attorney is just too expensive for the particular case. If you’ve decided to represent yourself for whatever reason, you may still need advice on how to proceed in court. You can get this valuable advice from People's Justice LLC with our pro se legal services in Philadelphia, PA. Find out more by calling 855-577-7673.
What is the difference between pro se and pro per?
If you plan to represent yourself in a court of law you may be considered “pro se” or “pro per”. For the most part, these terms mean the same thing—you’ve chosen to represent yourself in your case.
In some instances a distinction might be made:
- Pro se: When you represent yourself pro se, you might still seek advice from an attorney, although the attorney is always in the background and never appears in court on your behalf.
- Pro per: You’re taking the case and making all arguments on your own with no assistance whatsoever from legal counsel.
Do pro se litigants ever win?
Except in minor cases, usually in uncontested divorces or similar family law matters, it’s often very difficult for pro se litigants to win their cases. Largely this is because of their lack of training in the complexities of the law and courts and understanding of court proceedings such as how to file motions. Pro se litigants also often fail to research their cases thoroughly to provide enough evidence to make substantial arguments before the judge. If you are unable to afford an attorney, getting help from legal services such as People's Justice LLC may help you if you have to represent yourself in court.
Do judges hate pro se?
While technically judges must remain objective as a case is presented, it can be difficult to hear a case presented by a pro se litigant or defendant. This is because of the complexities of the law and legal proceedings, as well as the lack of preparedness often shown by someone opting for self-representation. In some instances, judges have to guide pro se litigants through processes while in session and judges will often counsel them to seek some kind of legal assistance before continuing a case. While judges might give guidance to them in some procedures, judges will tend to hold them to the same standards as they would attorneys as far as presenting evidence and making arguments is concerned.
How does a pro se plaintiff testify?
To represent themselves, pro se plaintiffs must act and present their case as a lawyer would. This means you have to be able to provide testimonial evidence from witnesses and documentary evidence or exhibits. You must also present the evidence to the court by having witnesses testify and present copies of exhibits to the other parties. You must show why your evidence is relevant to the case and you must be able to explain why the evidence is relevant to the case if the other party makes any objections to it. You may also need to publish the evidence, which means you present it to the jury.
Can pro se subpoena records?
Anytime a pro se litigant wishes to subpoena witnesses or records they must get the signature of the county clerk. All rules for serving a subpoena must be followed as well. These rules will vary from state to state and may be different for pro se than for an attorney.
Can a pro se file electronically?
Yes, pro se litigants can file documents either electronically or in person. While it’s often best to file documents in person, you might have to file them electronically to meet a deadline when the clerk’s office is closed or if it is inconvenient for you to file in person.
Can a pro se litigant conduct a deposition?
Yes, pro se litigants can conduct their own depositions. To do so the witness, their attorney (if used), and a court reporter must be present. The deposition is performed in either the court reporter’s office or in a conference room in the attorney’s office.
Can a corporation appear pro se?
No, corporations cannot appear in court pro se. All corporations or partnerships must use an attorney to represent them in court.
Give Us a Call Today
If you are considering pro se in Philadelphia, PA, make sure you have all the best legal advice possible and get help from People's Justice LLC. We offer multiple solutions for those seeking counself and legal advice. Find out how we can help you by calling 855-577-7673.