Q: Can you represent yourself in the court of common pleas during an appeal from a small claims court ruling?
A: Yes: "The judicial system of Pennsylvania embraces the idea that access to the Courts is a fundamental right of all Pennsylvanians."
Note, however: "Self-represented litigants are held to the same standards as attorneys admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Representing yourself does not exempt you from understanding and following statewide and local Rules of Court . . . ."
A: Absolutely you can represent yourself. However, my advice is don't. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it is a good idea. As a self-represented litigant, you are still held to the same standards as an attorney and that means understanding the rules and procedures of the court in which your appeal is taken. Also, appeals are not like trials and so the way you present your case is different and not something the typical non-lawyer knows. I appreciate the desire to self-represent but I would suggest you contact an appellate lawyer.
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