Courts must take into consideration how they are represented and reported on in the media. Hon. Janet Berry
On another note, regarding Self-Represented Litigants (Pro Se – Propria Persona) ~ The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted to provide EVERY AMERICAN with the CONSTITUTIONAL right to self-representation, if they so choose. That privilege, like all other constitutional rights, should be enjoyed without fear of harassment, prejudice, or abuse.
Furthermore, no law, regulation, or policy should exist to abridge or surreptitiously extinguish that right. Self-Represented Litigants have no less of a right to FAIR and MEANINGFUL due process under the federal and state constitutions as those individuals who choose to utilize an attorney for their legal affairs and issues. In fact, NOWHERE in any state or federal constitution does it specify that the hiring of a lawyer is a prerequisite to exercising one’s due process rights.
Democratic principles dictate that we have the right to freely choose between self-representation and hiring a lawyer to handle our legal matters without suffering humiliation, prejudice, or penalization. After all, it is the parties to the litigation that ultimately have to deal with the consequences of the case’s outcome, and not the judge or the lawyers involved in the matter. Contrary to the view of certain judges and lawyers, those who opt to litigate their own legal matters without an attorney are NOT second-class citizens deserving of contempt and injustice.
Instead, they are BRAVE CITIZENS with an inalienable right to have their legal causes adjudicated objectively and justly — with or without a lawyer. Self-representation can be a difficult, time-consuming, and often frightening experience, especially for those burdened by demanding work schedules, family responsibilities, and other obligations of day-to-day living. Accordingly, those who engage in the difficult task of self-litigation should be REVERED for their COURAGE and DEDICATION, not scorned or abused.
We also need to amass momentous opposition against those persons, agencies, and institutions who, in the interest of protecting huge profits, careers, and prestige, subject self-litigants to a hostile and often abusive litigation atmosphere calculated to suppress self-representation and force people to become completely and financially dependent on lawyers to gain “paid” access to a taxpayer-funded legal system.