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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

View Poll Results: Self-representation for court applications. Good idea?
Yes 4 80.00%
No 1 20.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 06-22-2018, 03:37 PM
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Default Represented v. self-rep. Your experiences?

Hello everyone,

I am thinking of firing my lawyer and representing myself, not at trial; just for some "motions" before the court registrar or possibly a judge. Has anyone on here done this? Did you regret representing yourself?

Please do not speculate about my abilities in particular. I'm just interested in feedback from people who have been there and done that.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:34 PM
toronto_father toronto_father is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolGuy41 View Post
Hello everyone,

I am thinking of firing my lawyer and representing myself, not at trial; just for some "motions" before the court registrar or possibly a judge. Has anyone on here done this? Did you regret representing yourself?

Please do not speculate about my abilities in particular. I'm just interested in feedback from people who have been there and done that.



Ive self rep myself from the beginning.....I`m going to get back to you on this as its such a loaded question...have to think up a good response
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:59 PM
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I think much depends upon your issues. I had an excellent lawyer for many years. I moved out-of-province and have now been self-representing, however. I do have the benefit of having kept all of my very large plastic bins of legal correspondence and filings that my lawyer prepared. That has made a huge difference and without all my paperwork I would have been lost. The volumes of motions helped me with wording of things. I have to emphasize that less is more and, now that I am on my own, I take note of how careful my lawyer was to not submit lengthy documents. Everything submitted on my behalf was backed up with fact as well as pertinent case law. My lawyer even sometimes used the case law that opposing counsel submitted to support our case!

I absolutely resent spending hours upon hours doing the paperwork and do miss the convenience of law firm submitting everything to the courts, on time... no worry about which form to use.

Also, my former lawyer is just an email away and has always provided me with advice when needed and lots of encouragement. I have been successful every time I've gone to court so far!!! (hope I don't jinx it).

I have to say, however, that I could never have had done this fresh out of the marriage (too emotional). When your ex makes derogatory/false accusations in affidavits it is human nature to want to lash back or at least defend ones self. My lawyer reined me in, in a big way. I learned you do not have to respond to everything the crazy ex flings at you. If you get into mud slinging it reflects badly upon you. Less is more... less is more. I often read on here of how people submit huge volumes. Judges get bored. You have to remember that your situation is not unique. Judges have heard it all before.

That's my 2 cents.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
I think much depends upon your issues. I had an excellent lawyer for many years. I moved out-of-province and have now been self-representing, however. I do have the benefit of having kept all of my very large plastic bins of legal correspondence and filings that my lawyer prepared. That has made a huge difference and without all my paperwork I would have been lost. The volumes of motions helped me with wording of things. I have to emphasize that less is more and, now that I am on my own, I take note of how careful my lawyer was to not submit lengthy documents. Everything submitted on my behalf was backed up with fact as well as pertinent case law. My lawyer even sometimes used the case law that opposing counsel submitted to support our case!

I absolutely resent spending hours upon hours doing the paperwork and do miss the convenience of law firm submitting everything to the courts, on time... no worry about which form to use.

Also, my former lawyer is just an email away and has always provided me with advice when needed and lots of encouragement. I have been successful every time I've gone to court so far!!! (hope I don't jinx it).

I have to say, however, that I could never have had done this fresh out of the marriage (too emotional). When your ex makes derogatory/false accusations in affidavits it is human nature to want to lash back or at least defend ones self. My lawyer reined me in, in a big way. I learned you do not have to respond to everything the crazy ex flings at you. If you get into mud slinging it reflects badly upon you. Less is more... less is more. I often read on here of how people submit huge volumes. Judges get bored. You have to remember that your situation is not unique. Judges have heard it all before.

That's my 2 cents.

Was your ex professionally represented when you self-rep'ed?
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:33 AM
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No. I wish he were though. Instead I find myself up against duty counsel.

There is no benefit, in my opinion, to one's opponent being self-represented. Judges want to appear to be "fair" and IMO tend to let him get away with things (errors in filing). He took me to court a few times without even serving me! My former lawyer just happened to be in courthouse and saw my name on electronic docket! and alerted me. One time my former lawyer was able to drop in to the courtroom and request an adjournment and the other time I was able to make a telephone appearance and request an adjournment. He would never had gotten away with that had he been presented by competent counsel.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:48 AM
ifonlyihadknown ifonlyihadknown is offline
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I had a case conference and a settlement conference where I was self-represented. I still hired a family law lawyer to consult with but they did not represent me. Since there were no children involved and they were only conferences, I figured that self-representation was low risk. I learnt a lot and saved myself a lot of money.
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:04 PM
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Then it is settled: 100% of respondents polled think self-representation is a good idea.


Kidding aside I guess this is too loaded of a question, meaning that too much depends on the details of the court action. I think it is doable if you are keen on family law like arabian and opposing counsel is less than top shelf.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:05 PM
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lots to consider for sure.... millennial might not do too well as this is not something one can "text".. actual conversation/speaking is required to self-represent.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:31 AM
Sam Sung Sam Sung is offline
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I am sure there are many people in this same scenario : how about when you are forced to self rep because you can barely manage to support your household ?
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:18 AM
ifonlyihadknown ifonlyihadknown is offline
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Keep in mind that it is a lot of work. You have a lot to study and have to get it right. Reading the laws and court rules, reading cases on CanLii, going through the gory details of the SSAG.

You also have to know how to file and present the information for the courts and judges. You have to prepare things the way a lawyer would so it looks familiar to a judge and is easy for them to digest it.

(One of) the most frustrating things I found about the whole divorce process is that there are very few resources to help someone self-representing. For example; what does a case conference brief look like? What should it contain? etc.
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