Self-Represented Litigant is a choice

Self-Represented Litigant: A person (party) who advocates on his or her own behalf before a court, rather than being represented by an attorney. These litigants are also known as pro se or pro per litigants.

Cases with Self-Represented Litigants: Legal cases in which one or more parties is self-represented.

People may be self-represented for many reasons, and for the most part do not choose to be self- represented. SRLs are often particularly vulnerable in terms of a relative lack of education, income and assets. They may be grouped into seven overlapping categories:

  • People with a lack of social resources (low income, low education, low literacy, etc.).
  • Low income SRLs with some social resources (people who cannot afford a lawyer but who have sufficient social resources and education to seek available services).
  • SRLs living with social barriers that interfere with accessing justice (i.e. people living with challenges resulting from physical or mental differences, language and cultural barriers, people living in remote locations, etc.).
  • SRLs who are unable to find a lawyer (usually people who live in small towns or remote areas).
  • SRLs who were previously represented but who are no longer represented (usually in lengthy cases with no permanent resolution).
  • SRLs in cases where representation is said not to be necessary (i.e. small claims, traffic court, etc.).
  • SRLs who could access representation but prefer to self-represent (usually well-educated people who distrust the legal profession). SRLs in this category have been found to be a significant minority of the overall SRL population.

SRL is a choice that we all can make and we can Win!!!

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