Leveling the Playing Field When You Represent Yourself
Let's face it, the legal system is predominately based on good old boys helping each other out. While some exceptions exist, in most cases a judge is going to lean in favor of the lawyer when a judgment call has to be made between a fellow member of the bar and someone representing themselves.
So how do you remove this built in advantage?
One way is by asking for a jury.
When I was actively practicing law I almost always preferred for my case to be heard by a jury rather than a judge. One reason is that many judges have a very, very overdeveloped sense of self. They perceive that when they put on the black robe not only does their intelligence increase ten fold, but somehow their common sense is equally enhanced.
But that is just their perception.
Overall, juries seldom made a decision with which I completely disagreed and when they did, it was usually because a lawyer (myself included) failed to give them the correct information on which to make their decision.
However, I had an even better reason to lean toward a jury trial.
Most lawyers aren't very good at picking a jury and are scared to death of the thought of it.
Since this is the case, this is probably one of the only times in a lawsuit in which a pro se litigant is on an equal footing with the lawyer and, since a jury expects less of a person representing themselves and who has not been to law school, it may actually give the pro se party an advantage.
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