Monday, November 24, 2008 idiot for a client?

Pro se litigants is an interesting topic and many times, they serve as a ripe source of business. An article in today's online issue of the Houston Chronicle discusses the growing practice.

In my experience, most people are able to do a fair to good job representing themselves when everything goes right. The problem arises when things go wrong. Case in point, contracts drafted by non-lawyers typically lack key terms related to payment timing, delivery of goods and services, and dispute resolution. When these contracts have to be litigated, many times, there is very little substance to make a claim on because of the the vagueness of the contract.

As noted in the article, a more serious problem is when a pro se litigant fails to properly preserve error at the trial level. This in essence strips away the losing litigant's ability to appeal the decision.

It is also important to realize that Federal courts in the 5th Circuit (our circuit) do not allow a corporate entity (e.g. Corporation, Limited Liability Company)to appear pro se. As a legal entity separate from the individual, it must be represented by a licensed and admitted lawyer.

Once in a courtroom, there are books' worth of deadlines and procedures that must be followed. The penalty sometimes is the loss of your right to seek judicial remedy for your situation.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cheney and Gonzalez INDICTED

Houston Chronicle Article

This story piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. First, any time a Vice-President and former cabinet member are indicted on criminal charges it must be big news. Second, the story was supposedly broken by my hometown television ABC affiliate.

If anything is evident from history, and several Law and Order episodes, an indictment is just an accusation. There are several ways in which this can all fade away e.g. the court can dismiss the indictment, the charges can be dropped and/or dismissed.

Despite this, I will be monitoring this situation.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Website Launch

I had no idea when I wrote my last blog entry about Hurricane Price Gouging that I'd experience so much change because of Hurricane Ike.

The office building suffered significant damage from the storm. We are displaced for four months because of it.

The change of scenery also inspired me to update the old law firm website. Please take a look and send me your comments.