Gavel Grab

More Litigants are Representing Themselves

It’s another sign of difficult times, this time at the courthouse.

More Americans are facing court proceedings that could cost them dearly, whether about bankruptcy, foreclosure, or employment rights–and they choose to represent themselves due to the high cost of retaining an attorney.

The number of parties to civil cases who showed up in court last year without a lawyer increased, 60 percent of state judges reported in a survey by the American Bar Association, and 62 percent of those judges surveyed said the litigants were harmed as a result, a Wall Street Journal article reported.

The problem has affected both people with incomes too high to qualify for free legal aid, and those who do qualify, because legal aid groups have been forced to cut back at the same time the demand for free legal counsel has risen.

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