One of my favorite blogging buddies, David Giacalone, on a partial blogging hiatus as f/k/a, has resurfaced again with a new proposed blog, shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress. As the name reflects, shlep will provide commentary on and resources for pro se litigation. From the introductory post:
Self-Help Law deserves its own weblog. It is too important a right for consumers, a vital movement, and a growing virtual and realworld reality, to be outside the spotlight of the blogosphere and the weblogger community. (See Movement/ Shmovement below, plus our About page) Indeed, if weblogs are even half as important in the world of legal services as everybody* says,
it may be malpractice for consumer advocates, proponents of universal
access to justice, law-and-technology gurus, or law firm
management mavens to start the day without seeking a weblog dose of pro se and self-help news and punditry.
Should solos and small firms care about the growing pro se
trend? Absolutely. Since many of us practice on the front lines of
litigation, we’ll often meet litigants with small matters that don’t
warrant the cost of hiring a lawyer or who are uncomfortable with the
cost of an attorney and would prefer to handle the matter themselves.
Rather than criticize these clients as stupid or short sighted (which
many lawyers are apt to do when clients seek not to hire them), we
should at least educate them on the pro se process. Perhaps, clients will then decide to proceed pro se or
perhaps they won’t, but at least we can assist them in making an
informed decision. But to do that, we lawyers need to educate
ourselves on the pro se practice as well – and that’s what David’s site will help us do.
Educating on pro se practice can also reduce the cost of litigation, not just for the pro se, but for all involved. Because pro se litigants are not familiar with the court process, it may take longer for paying clients and cost them more money, or result in this kind of conduct. We should develop ways to improve the quality of pro se litigation.
Of course, the only problem with shlep is that David Giacalone is pro se: he needs assistance from other bloggers to ensure the success of this new venture. Contact David at shlep if you’re interested.