Q: Does a person need an atterney in a civil suit
A: A person who has not been previously deemed legally incompetent may represent himself or herself in a suit. However, the answer as to whether or not a person should represent himself or herself depends upon the nature and complexity of the issues that will be involved in the lawsuit as well as the experience, education and knowledge of the person himself or herself. A person who is not a licensed attorney in the relevant state cannot represent another person although a parent or guardian may file or defend a suit on behalf of his or her child. Small claims court is generally set up to accommodate small value matters and accommodate persons who represent themselves. Always take advantage of free consultations to have an attorney review your particular situation. Ask the attorney very pointed questions about each necessary step in the process. specifically ask the attorney if the matter is something that you could handle by yourself. If you feel comfortable with handling the matter yourself, do so. Keep in mind though that if the matter is unexpectedly beyond your capabilities, you may cause significant and irreversible damage to your position. If you take on a matter yourself and feel that you get in over your head, you can hire a lawyer at any time during the process. If you can afford to do so, it is always best to hire an attorney who practices in the area of law applicable to the issues in the case.
***Ms. Harwell is licensed to practice law in Florida. In accordance with the Justia community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. This communication is provided for the purpose of general informational purposes only. Additional facts and information pertaining to the relevant question above could significantly change this response and make it inapplicable to your personal circumstances. Many attorneys offer free consultations and Ms. Harwell strongly advises that you take advantage of this opportunity to discuss your particular situation in detail and obtain legal advice most suited to your personal situation.
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