Mark Dubois: Courts May Let Paralegals Serve As 'Guides' For Pro Ses

, The Connecticut Law Tribune


I heard that New York is going to adopt a system where "guides" or "concierges" pair with self-represented parties in certain courts in order to facilitate the movement of business and allow the judges to return to being neutral arbiters instead of trying to be both judge and advocate for those without attorneys.

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What's being said

  • Chief State Justice Rogers mentioned in a speech last year the threat the public court system faces because its is perceived as being "too costly, too inefficient, and too slow." She also mentioned companies such as LegalZoom and noted that many corporations are now also avoiding the court system in favor of private arbitration. This is not reflective of a problem with Pro Se‘s and people avoid the court syste, It is reflective of a poorly managed and operational dysfunctional court system that is out of touch with the times, and a Bar Association that works to perpetuate rather than to improve the system. Throwing more legal resources at the problem is a fools game. The public court system must finally start adopting some of the legal management techniques now very common in the corporate world and which have slashed legal costs while improving the quality of legal work product. Attorney Arnold Rutkin recently suggested that the state hire a private outside management consulting firm to take over and manage court operations - a brilliant idea given the reality that attorneys often make the very worst business people.

  • Mark DuBois falls back on the inaccurate assumption that Pro Se parties do not know the law. In fact, many Pro Se parties, especially in family courts, are frustrated with the court system not following its own rules and procedures. the reason why Pro Se parties often file many motions, is because of ineffective, illogical, or outright illegal rulings being made by family court judges that ignore due process, the Practice Book and state law. The problem is not with Pro Se parties not knowing the process or the law, the problem is far deeper than that and starts at the top.

  • Uhh, in a word: UPL.

  • Paralegals helping Pro Se‘s, I love that idea! That would mean that individuals attempting to get child support or dealing with other family matters no longer have to go broke doing so (In Fairfield County CT Lawyers want a MINIMUM of $350 an hour for this...). People CANNOT depend on the CT Support Enforcement system (not unless they are on State Aid because that is when Support Enforcement has a stake in the game). Let‘s get this system working better for families in Connecticut!

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