Titanic, Hindenburg, DIY Appeals

By: Benjamin G. Shatz
– Daily Journal

In his latest ‘Exceptionally Appealing’ column for Daily Journal, appellate Partner Benjamin Shatz discussed self-representation in court, specifically on appeal. “In the federal courts, the right of self-representation has been protected by statute since the beginnings of our Nation,” Shatz wrote. However, he cautioned that a vast gap exists between having the right to do something and doing it well.

“Practicing law is complicated, even for lawyers. Pro pers face an education barrier and a language barrier. See Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants (Cal. Jud. Council April 2019) pp. 1-4 to 1-5 (the ‘mash up of Latin and French that results in ‘legalese’ means ‘many pro pers do not even know that is what they are’).” He also notes that those who choose to represent themselves often have a hard time following the rules of the court leading to procedural errors and substantive appellate errors, among other issues.

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here.

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