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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Can an individual who has been representing himself "pro se"

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Can an individual who has been representing himself "pro se" all along prior to formal court hearing all of a sudden show up with an attorney to represent him if the individual or attorney have not notified the other party and the court that the attorney is representing that party?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To answer your question directly, the answer is 'yes', even a 'pro se' party can appear in court with an attorney, and without prior notice. The right to have an attorney present is not permanently waived if someone is pursuing a case 'pro se', the right is simply not being utilized. A 'pro se' party can always choose to obtain counsel, and while an attorney would need permission to quit a case (once it is in trial), there is no permission required to hire and bring an attorney on-board. No advance notice is required.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If the party obtains counsel at the last minute before the hearing doesn't the attorney have to submit a motion to the court stating that he will be representing the party?


 


Also, this party submitted a motion to dismiss that was signed by himself as a pro se litigant but the motion was typed on the type of document that is only used by law offices. It is apparent that the individual has a friend or relative that wrote his motion for him but the party is giving the impression that he wrote the motion.

Thank you for your follow-up, Frank.

If the party obtains counsel at the last minute before the hearing doesn't the attorney have to submit a motion to the court stating that he will be representing the party?

No. An emergency representation can be cured by the attorney at the hearing stating that he was just hired and did not have a chance to file a motion. Judges will accept that without reservation, especially in a case of a 'pro se' party since the courts tend to terribly disfavor such parties and would do all they can to have them obtain representation.


 


Also, this party submitted a motion to dismiss that was signed by himself as a pro se litigant but the motion was typed on the type of document that is only used by law offices. It is apparent that the individual has a friend or relative that wrote his motion for him but the party is giving the impression that he wrote the motion.

That is likewise not illegal. There are no 'just for attorneys' forms--and a pro se party is held to the same exact standard as to any attorney. He is free to get assistance provided they do not attempt to claim that this somehow translated into representation. Even some local state bars have found that some assistance with legal documentation is not representation and not deemed to be 'unauthorized practice of law'.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I was under this opinion because I had once filed suit against the government and received a notification/motion to the court that (name of AUSA was given) was representing the defendant government. That gave me the impression that notification to the court was required.

Frank,

Not at all. I have personally shown up to hearings as an 'emergency' representative without trouble, and will actually be doing the same this Tuesday. No notice was filed, and it would be permitted in this instance based on the argument I set forth.

Good luck to you and please be well!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Again, Thank you for your assistance. You were of significant help!

Frank,

You are most welcome and good luck! If satisfied please do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can obtain credit for my work. Thank you!

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