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Thread: Another word to the wise...

  1. #1
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    Just thought I'd throw this out. Be careful what you say or show to the ether that is the Internet; it has come back to bite some people in court.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25738225/

    Online hangouts like Facebook and MySpace have offered crime-solving help to detectives and become a resource for employers vetting job applicants. Now the sites are proving fruitful for prosecutors, who have used damaging Internet photos of defendants to cast doubt on their character during sentencing hearings and argue for harsher punishment.
    This is especially important for people on these types of forums, who may someday be forced to defend their actions in court. Most of us use similar usernames across multiple forums; an ADA can find this stuff just as easily as anyone else, and link it to you. Therefore, think VERY carefully before posting something disparaging about the police, the poor, the homeless, criminals, etc. in the general case. It's not going to sound goodif read in court. Likewise, a "bring it on" post regarding your protections under Castle Doctrine can be used by the DA to argue that you welcomed the opportunity to shoot an intruder, which lends credence to an allegation that you provoked the intruder and thus negates justification.

    Lastly, legal advice given here should ALWAYS be prefaced or ended with "IANAL" if you are indeed not a lawyer. If a member of the particular State's bar gives advice, they know how to cover themselves. Everyone else, as seemingly knowledgeable members, might give advice in good faith that turns out to be bad. If a reasonable person would read your post and conclude that the information in it was "legal advice", you can be held liable and even found guilty of criminal charges for practicing law without a license.

    This forum's members areprobably the mostoutspoken of any I frequent; debates about talking to police, being detained by same, etc. etc. often generate online shouting matches and a lot of conclusions based on incomplete pictures of state and Federal laws, Constitutions, natural rights, etc, and people forget that their little corner of the Web is very public. I'm just giving people on the forums I frequent fair warning that the potential danger of being held to the word of your online persona is indeed very real.


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    Regular Member ODA 226's Avatar
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    Good advise from a very wise man...
    Bitka Sve Rešava!
    B-2-10 SFG(A)/ A-2-11 SFG(A) 1977-1994

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    You are right! But also think of it like this, just think, you don't have to agree. If you are out practising/exercising your right to be armed, (as we are here exercising our free speech rights). If you should have to by chance defend yourself. It could be twisted to say you where looking for trouble. Just the fact you visit a sight like this could someday be used against you. How dare you have the foresight to carry a weapon on you should you have to protect yourself. That means you where willing to kill! Which means you are a dangerous personand need to be locked up! Oh! The bullets in your gun where made only to kill other people. So you where out hoping to shoot somebody. I am being sarcastic here (calm down folks). But really, if some of us stop being to critical and out spoken. Then the few that remain exercising free speechWILL BE in the minority and will be found crazy in the public opinion domain. The fact that lawyers and the powers that be can even make a case against you by you exercising a right shows how bad things really are. The fact that the government can't abide it's own court ruling shows how bad it is. The law makers, are also now, law breakers.But not really,because there doing it/for public safety. It's all nonsense! They have become so civilized andeducated there fools.

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    murphy2 wrote:
    You are right! But also think of it like this, just think, you don't have to agree. If you are out practising/exercising your right to be armed, (as we are here exercising our free speech rights). If you should have to by chance defend yourself. It could be twisted to say you where looking for trouble. Just the fact you visit a sight like this could someday be used against you. How dare you have the foresight to carry a weapon on you should you have to protect yourself. That means you where willing to kill! Which means you are a dangerous personand need to be locked up! Oh! The bullets in your gun where made only to kill other people. So you where out hoping to shoot somebody. I am being sarcastic here (calm down folks). But really, if some of us stop being to critical and out spoken. Then the few that remain exercising free speechWILL BE in the minority and will be found crazy in the public opinion domain. The fact that lawyers and the powers that be can even make a case against you by you exercising a right shows how bad things really are. The fact that the government can't abide it's own court ruling shows how bad it is. The law makers, are also now, law breakers.But not really,because there doing it/for public safety. It's all nonsense! They have become so civilized andeducated there fools.
    Well, here's the thing... while it may seem crappy that one gets a manslaughter or murder conviction in a self-defense shooting for saying trigger-happy things online, does that mean it's wrong? What I mean is... while it's innocent macho posturing in many cases, in other cases it demonstrates a true desire to shoot when deadly force is not necessary. Granted, the criminal justice system should side with the innocent, but we know that's no longer the case. But the point being... Internet forum postings can be used as a reliable indication of the state of mind of someone who might someday come up against charges stemming from a shooting.


    Though, this could be alleviated by thinking out posts before writing them. As longwatch had advocated for a while, don't say anything on this forum that you wouldn't say in front of the same (armed) members in person. It also helps to articulate. Saying "Shoot all the f****** [insert racial slur] beer thieves so they can go to Hell and burn!" would probably be harmful in court if one is ever involved in a related shooting. A couple of paragraphs discussing the moral/ethical reasoning behind using deadly force against beer thieves might not be quite so disasterous. But IANAL .


    The overall point being... you don't need to curtail your free speech in the vast majority of cases, so long as you're one of the good guys, and your command of the English language allows you to express yourself correctly. Pretty much the only times I censor myself are when I would otherwise post strongly anti-government sentiment, but only due to the (most likely) fact that many unconstitutional agencies are busy watching forums like these to find out how they can eliminate any threat to The Party, and I don't want to be the next Waco.

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    Agreed! Keep it high and powder dry.

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    Agreed.

    Although IANAL, I would add the following, for your consideration.

    1. Remember that, as much as you may think of yourself as being "in the forum", it is a public forum. Anyone can read it, and I will guarantee you that more people read it than post here. Some may be trying to make up their minds about guns and gun people. Some may be looking for material to use against us.

    2. As to the legal aspect, it would be well to remember that self-defense is usually described in terms of reasonable necessity, reasonable belief, reasonable fear, etc. Who decides what "reasonable" is? Guess what? It isn't you. If a prosecutor can get enough of your immoderate statements in front of the right (wrong?) jury, your "reasonableness" can come into grave doubt.

    I've met several people who thought that if they shot someone, all they had to do was say the Magic Words: "I was in fear for my life", and everyone else would, say "Oh, WELL. All-righty, then. Sorry for the inconvenience, you're free to go." Not so. It needs to be reasonable fear, and that will be decided by a jury.

    Don't take my word for it, ask any criminal attorney. IANAL, BTW.

    3. This is just my own personal soapbox, but ... it often said by our side (never by Them) that "an armed society is a polite society." Is it really? You can't always tell that by reading gun-related forums. It's just MHO, but people who are discussing carrying weapons openly, in public, and who WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO THINK THAT'S OKAY, may want to show the normals that we really aren't such bad fellows.

    That doesn't mean you have to hold any particular opinion, or give up your rights, or become one of the "sheeple", or whatever else. Just don't be an a88ho13.

    [Don't care what the "sheeple" think? Bully for you. Let's hope you never have to, cause like it or not, you're a member of society, my friend, and society will get all in your business if you give them what they consider sufficient cause.]

    Not only is it good press for our side, it's an excellent exercise in self-control. Mas Ayoob has noted that being armed in public means you have to take more crap from people, not less. If you think about it for a moment, it's possible for someone to be EXTREMELY obnoxious without their behavior rising to the level of a threat that justifies deadly force. If you're out in public, are you ready for that? You SURE? If you can't keep your temper in an internet forum, what makes you sure you'll be able to do it when some toad starts getting verbally (and possibly slightly physically) creative with your GF, or sister, or child?

    I once heard the following hypothetical question in the context of Georgia law:

    You hear an awful noise in your front yard, and go out to see some maniac killing your dog with a machete. Not real quickly either, and with evident, evil pleasure. Can you shoot him?

    Legally, no. In Georgia, dogs are "property" and killing a dog is a misdemeanor. Can't use deadly force against a misdemeanor. Ever. A jury might let you off for something like that, but maybe not. Legally, you'd be in the wrong regardless.
    GOT SELF-CONTROL?

    If you don't have it online, what makes you think you'll be able to have it in the face of Real Nastiness(tm)?

    Just MHO, and worth every cent you paid for it. Did I mention IANAL?

    Stay safe, and

    regards,

    GR

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    Agreed, the internet is wide open for anyone to see anything. But giving advice even in a legal matter is certainly NOT "practicing law" any more than telling someone you think they might have a cold is practicing medicine. It's simply a layman's opinion, nothing more.

    In fact, everything I say is merely my opinion based on my level of knowledge and experience on any given subject. Someone more educated or experienced in a particular area may have a more "expert" opinion than I do, but it is always and forever still just an opinion. Hell, you can't get two "professional experts" to agree on anything!

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    BobCav wrote:
    Hell, you can't get two "professional experts" to agree on anything!
    I disagree!
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Both Liko81, Imperialism2024, and GR are absolutely correct. I have issued similar warnings in other threads about this very same topic. Any attorney will take the opportunity to use your comments against you, any chance they get. I have seen it in court, and if you think your comments are safe while you are waitingOUTSIDE the courtroom for your turn to testify, you are very wrong.

    MANY posts on this board are absolutely false, and frankly I have not the time nor the energy (nor the wish to be flamed)to attempt to correct them. Others then read them, and assume that they are the truth. I have never seen the amount of "jumping to conclusions" as I have on this board. There are many here who have an immense knowledge of oc laws, but that is only a tiny facet of the law. I too am not an attorney, but I do spend a fair amount of time explaining to people why the advice that their attorney gave them is false, and not legal or enforceable. I see it and hear it everyday.

    We would all be wiseto use a healthy dose of skepticism regarding advice, stories, and individual interpretations of the law as posted here.

    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    I too am not an attorney, but I do spend a fair amount of time explaining to people why the advice that their attorney gave them is false, and not legal or enforceable. I see it and hear it everyday.
    Interesting. Are you a judge? I know that in many jurisdictions a judge need not be a member of the bar.

    I'm trying to think of another profession where one would, on a regular basis, presume to know the law better than attorneys, and go on to advise an attorney's client to disregard his advice.

    I expect I'd be equally skeptical of someone without a medical degree claiming to "spend a fair amount of time explaining to people why the advice that their" doctor gave them is "false."

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    SNIP 1) MANY posts on this board are absolutely false, and frankly I have not the time nor the energy (nor the wish to be flamed)to attempt to correct them.
    2) We would all be wiseto use a healthy dose of skepticism regarding advice, stories, and individual interpretations of the law as posted here.
    1) Some of us really, really want to learn. Knowledge that you have that others might not can only help. Some of us are smart enough to read past the flamers.

    2) +10
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    bobernet wrote:
    Interesting. Are you a judge? I know that in many jurisdictions a judge need not be a member of the bar.

    I'm trying to think of another profession where one would, on a regular basis, presume to know the law better than attorneys, and go on to advise an attorney's client to disregard his advice.

    I expect I'd be equally skeptical of someone without a medical degree claiming to "spend a fair amount of time explaining to people why the advice that their" doctor gave them is "false."
    Nope, I'm no judge, and I don't pretend to know more than any given attorney either. I do however know quite a bit about law and how it is applied, and have amassed years of court time, training, experience, frequent law update bulletins, and studying it. When someone hands me some paper or tells me what their attorney said is going to happen, I do know if it is correct, and many times it is not. It is my job to know the difference. I do not tell people to disregard their attorneys advice, I simplyinform them what the law allows.


    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    bobernet wrote:
    SNIP Interesting. Are you a judge?
    SNIP I do however know quite a bit about law and how it is applied,...
    Just to lighten the mood:


    "I know a thing or two about the law, Your Honor."

    --Clint Eastwood portraying former lawman Jed Cooper in Hang 'Em High.


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Johnny Law wrote:
    Nope, I'm no judge, and I don't pretend to know more than any given attorney either. I do however know quite a bit about law and how it is applied, and have amassed years of court time, training, experience, frequent law update bulletins, and studying it.
    Well, your opinions on the law are certainly as worthwhile here as anyone else's. You should share them so that we can all benefit from your perspective.

    I do think it sets the wrong tone, though, when you make sweeping generalizations about legal discussions here, and then bolster your argument by saying you routinely tell other people that their attorney gave them bad legal information.

    P.S. Since you are running into constant issues of lawyers misadvising their clients about the laws in your area, you owe it to others to report them to the state bar association for investigation. The bar is supposed to mean something, and if there are so many bad lawyers in your area that you, not being a lawyer, are forced to correct them constantly - that's a bad situation.

    I'd be awfully upset if the person I hired to advise me on the law, certified by the state to practice law, had to be corrected by someone not in the legal profession at all.

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    bobernet wrote:

    I do think it sets the wrong tone, though, when you make sweeping generalizations about legal discussions here, and then bolster your argument by saying you routinely tell other people that their attorney gave them bad legal information.
    I understand your point, butI did not say all the info here is wrong, as the majority of it is correct. I also am not implying that all attorneys are wrong in their adviceeither (I believe the majority of it is good). Many times I am approached by people who tell me that their attorneytold themto "have the Police assist you with this" and I have to explain to themwhy it is not legal, is a civil issue, is against Dept. policy, or is unenforceable. They always look surprised, and say "but my attorney said". I then explain the proper procedure (if I know) for them to go about getting their issue resolved.

    Sometimes they find that they have wasted their time, and lots of money on an attorney that can provide them no realbenefit. If we look at it from the attorney's pov, they are in business to (over) charge people for their "services". When was the last time anyone heard an attorney say "please keep your money,I'd love to help you but there is nothing I can do for you". They are all very happy to consult, charge, and advise. Why should they care, they will typically make money whetherYOU win or lose. The only time they may agree to work pro bono, is when they are relatively convinced they will win a case/money, or are trying to further their personal agenda (publicity). I do feel that thereare times when attorneys can honestly help people, butsome are unscroupulous, and are mere overpaid con artists, although this is my opinion and IANAL.

    Btw, there are alsosome occasions that I advise people to consult an attorney. It just isn't real often.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death. We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely! And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly. Meet him as the proud warrior that you are, and not as a sniveling coward. Nobody lives forever.

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    Liko81 wrote:
    legal advice given here should ALWAYS be prefaced or ended with "IANAL" if you are indeed not a lawyer. If a member of the particular State's bar gives advice, they know how to cover themselves. Everyone else, as seemingly knowledgeable members, might give advice in good faith that turns out to be bad. If a reasonable person would read your post and conclude that the information in it was "legal advice", you can be held liable and even found guilty of criminal charges for practicing law without a license.
    I do not know if Texas has any law regarding the issue of legal advice vs. opinion, but in Virginia where I live and post I do not need to fear being accused of prascticing law without a license by failing to preface everything with "IANAL'.

    Here in Virginia, legal advice can only be provided by a lawyer. I have to affirmatively hold out that I am in fact a properly admited member of the state bar in order to give legal advice. I can even charge someone a fee for stating my opinion without fear of running afoul of the law against practicing law without a license. It would only be a problem if I positively and openly said "I am a lawyer" when I knew that to be false.

    I guess it is just that here in Virginia we are not in any particular awe of lwayers. It may also be that there is a long and strong tradition of the "common man" being expected to be versed in both the letter and the nuance of the law. Heck, one can still "read for the law" here in Virginia:shock: - instead of going to law school you can be mentored by a member of the bar, and then on the recommendation of your mentor take the state bar exam. If you pass, you are admitted to the bar. :celebrate

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    I agree that we should watch ourselves, but I am not going to go through the trouble to tell everyone on every post that I am not a lawyer and I am not giving legal advise. This should be a given and assumed unless I say otherwise.

    But that would be easier if we were allowed signatures. . Hint hint. . . ..

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    bobernet wrote:
    Johnny Law wrote:
    I'd be awfully upset if the person I hired to advise me on the law, certified by the state to practice law, had to be corrected by someone not in the legal profession at all.
    Yet this happens daily. Perhaps not corrected by non-lawyers, but lawyers like doctors take years of practice to become competent. some never do. All lawyers started as a rookie, and they are learning the law as they go. So yes you can get incorrect legal advice from attorneys, they are, as much as I hate to admit it, people too.

    I know a law school instructor that gets calls from former students that are now PA's and askwhat to charge someone they are holding for OC. (YIKES) He tells them they can't charge them with anything, OC is legal in Michigan. So can lawyers get things wrong, yes! Can a layperson know more about certain laws than some attorneys, yes!
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Just boil it down to the fact that the Open Carry movement is getting a lot of national attention and there are a lot of people who would like to see it and us crumble. Our words on this forum can be used maliciously given the way the anti's and the media behave.

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    It has always been my belief that laws are written for all to understand. If this where not true we all would be criminals not knowing whats right and whats wrong. How can youOBEY something you don't understand? For the government to say you need to be a lawyer to practice law is just part of the legal racket/profession. Like many other rackets imposed on citizens. I know a man who was told by a judge he "would have won the case if he had a lawyer" He replied "I was ether right or I was wrong". The judge admitted he was right but he didn't have a lawyer. There is justice for you. There is no commonsense in our legal system it's all based mostly on feelings and procedures. (Lawyer) We can't have people making sense that would destroy our industry and profession! Laws are really simple, "you can't do this or that". They have made law so complex you can't help but go to them for there "services".Who makes the laws? Mostly lawyers (turned politician)and lobbyist who want laws past that require you to give them some of your money, example,insurance companies.It's all a racket!

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    You should watch what you say in ANY medium.

    Emails? All are saved, forever.

    Text messages? All are saved, forever.

    Voicemails? More than likely they are saved forever.

    Be smart in your words!

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    murphy2 (21 July 2008 Monday 14:34) says:

    It has always been my belief that laws are written for all to understand.
    With all due respect, you might want to exercise some caution about that. When I was trying to educate myself about the law, I was reading a Nolo Press book on the subject that quoted a Federal judge to the effect that "no one really knows what <the law in question> actually means." I'll try to find that citation if it would be helpful.

    Statutes are acts of the legislature, which means they are often the result of political compromise rather than philosophic reflection and statesmanship. Unfortunate but true.

    You may have heard the old saying, "two lawyers can thrive in a town where one alone can't." More seriously, remember that we have an adversarial system of justice, which means that it is intended that truth be discovered by having the two sides argue their side of things as forcefully as possible. Skill in argument can trump "right" when one is looking for "right" through skillful argument.

    Just some thoughts.

    regards,

    GR

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    Gentleman Ranker wrote:
    murphy2 (21 July 2008 Monday 14:34) says:

    It has always been my belief that laws are written for all to understand.
    With all due respect, you might want to exercise some caution about that. When I was trying to educate myself about the law, I was reading a Nolo Press book on the subject that quoted a Federa judge to the effect that "no one really knows what <the law in question> actually means." I'll try to find that citation if it would be helpful.

    Statutes are acts of the legislature, which means they are often the result of political compromise rather than philosophic reflection and statesmanship. Unfortunate but true.

    You may have heard the old saying, "two lawyers can thrive in a town where one alone can't." More seriously, remember that we have an adversarial system of justice, which means that it is intended that truth be discovered by having the two sides argue their side of things as forcefully as possible. Skill in argument can trump "right" when one is looking for "right" within skillful argument.

    Just some thoughts.

    regards,

    GR
    He is right about the power of argument. I was in debate in High School and often times it was not the facts that convinced, but the ability of the debater to argue! To creatively take the information to convince the people that he was right and the others were wrong.

    I recently had the same issue incourt. . . I filed all the proper paperwork, submitted all the evidence in defense of myself and the judge said where is your lawyer? I said I represent myself in this case. He immediately said.. "Judgment for the plaintiff. . Pay them, I don't have time for people with no legal background defending themselves."

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    Next time a judge says that, tell him you're a career criminal and have plenty of legal background.

    I once asked for a receipt for payment of court costs because I said that I was a professional criminal and I needed it for itemizable business expenses on my tax return. They gave me the receipt, somewhat hurriedly.

    -ljp

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    Theseus (22 July 2008 Tuesday 14:56) relates:

    ... the judge said where is your lawyer? I said I represent myself in this case. He immediately said.. "Judgment for the plaintiff. . Pay them, I don't have time for people with no legal background defending themselves."
    Something like that happened to a deputy sheriff friend of mine many years ago. He basically filed his own divorce papers without formal legal assistance (though he did have some help from friends in the courthouse). It was as uncomplicated as such things can be, but even so his results took the full time allowed by law to come through. He explained to me later that he was being sent a message, more-or-less "We'll let you get away with this, this time, but don't think it's something we tolerate willingly."

    To be fair, one of the few times I was on a real jury involved some little dispute over an auto repair bill that had somehow come up past small-claims court. Both parties argued pro se, and the judge had clearly seen the same issue before and was sick and tired of it. I could see why. One party had some evidence and made sense, the other was trying to be Clarence Darrow and failing miserably.

    Representing yourself in court can be done, but whether because of the lawyers' old boy network, or judges'
    exasperation with incompetent litigants*, being your own lawyer can be a problem.

    regards,

    GR
    -------------------------------------------------
    *Not talking about you personally, Theseus.

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