Ocean County Lawyer - Attorney - When, Whether, And How To Represent Yourself
Some cases simply cry out for justice, but various reasons (usually cost-effectiveness) preclude the use of attorneys. An attorney is like any other service you employ - he or she ought to "earn their keep." Winning a judgment that is less than the amount you had to pay your attorney is surely a Pyrrhic victory, and while this may sometimes occur by bad fortune, it should never be intended or expected from the start.
An attorney needs to make a living just as you do, but an ethical attorney starts a case with the firm expectation that when fees are paid, the client will have benefited when all has been said and done.
Therefore, a number of cases, such as those in small-claims, are actually litigated without attorneys and pursued "peoples' court"-style. The fact is, you have the right to represent yourself in any case whatsoever, and this right is Constitutional. You would be crazy to do so where your life savings - or your very life - was on the line, but a vast number of disagreements fall far short of that.
Sometimes you just need to accept that somebody did you wrong, and the matter is such that correcting it would be "throwing good money after bad." It is bad to let injustice prevail form the perspective of our society, but it is also important for you to do what's best for you, all things considered. Sometimes, you just have to let it go.
But the Courts have implemented many procedures for getting justice on your own, and enabling citizens to do so without a large investment in time and/or money. And some private organizations have made similar efforts to provide information, guidance, and even legal tools.
Just be careful not to get in over your head. Remember that your time is the most precious thing you possess, not to be wasted. And while it may sometimes seem to be financially impossible to bring a lawyer into the case, if the matter is sufficiently serious, you may need to reconsider what is possible and what is not.
That said, let's look at a few key sources of information to help you get the matter settled without "professional help."
Laymans Guides To New Jersey Laws
Several organizations have put the internet to good use by providing self-help guides for merely the cost of an online connection. Legal Services of New Jersey has a very good resource in this regard which is located here.
Resources Provided By The New Jersey Courts
New Jersey's online presence is quite good, and provides assistance to both the professional legal community, and to non-lawyer citizens as well. The basic online "homepage" is here.
Small claims exists and is a "peoples' court" of sorts, though very unlike the entertainment you see on television. The part that is like TV is the fact you do not require a lawyer. The part that isn't like TV is that you are unlikely to ever go before a judge or have a trial, but you will instead spend time with a legal intern who will urge both sides to come to a settlement. The most you may sue for in small-claims is $3000.
A medium-claims court exists also. Here, your claim can be as high as $15,000. But as these dollar limits increase, the need for a lawyer (and the cost-effectiveness) increases as well. This type of court case occasionally has lawyers involved, but nothing here is beyond the scope of a layman, and with the maximum consequence being a win or loss of $15,000, the need to pursue the matter without compromise is a judgment call you may make, unlike, for example, a situation where you've broken your neck in an accident or a family member has been charged with a crime.