History Main / AFoolForAClient

30th Oct '17 9:44:14 PM MasterN
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* Similar to Bundy, Mike [=DeBardeleben=], a prolific rapist, represented himself during his rape cases. It led to a HoistByHisOwnPetard moment: when cross-examining one of his victims, he led her through the rape and described the car she was raped in with such detail it was painfully obvious he had driven it.

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* Similar to Bundy, Mike [=DeBardeleben=], a prolific rapist, represented himself during his rape cases. It led to a HoistByHisOwnPetard moment: when cross-examining one of his victims, he led her through the rape and [[INeverSaidItWasPoison described the car she was raped in with such detail it was painfully obvious he had driven it.it]].



* {{Moral Guardian|s}} and dear friend of gamers everywhere [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(activist) Jack Thompson]] tried this during his disbarment hearings. It didn't quite work the way he wanted, especially since he had already been declared a vexatious litigant by the State of Florida by that time and was not able to file anything without prior approval from another member of the Florida Bar.

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* {{Moral Guardian|s}} and [[SarcasmMode dear friend of gamers gamers]] everywhere [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(activist) Jack Thompson]] tried this during his disbarment hearings. It didn't quite work the way he wanted, especially since he had already been declared a vexatious litigant by the State of Florida by that time and was not able to file anything without prior approval from another member of the Florida Bar.
5th Oct '17 6:05:53 PM wingedcatgirl
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* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', anyone trying to defend themselves with the Law Skill in an official legal capacity suffers an inherent -3 penalty to their Skill roll.

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* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', defending yourself in court is problematic for two reasons. One, depending on the campaign and your character plans, you [[UselessUsefulNonCombatAbilities probably won't be trained in the Law skill]], while the opposition almost certainly ''will'' be. Two, even if you conveniently are trained in Law, anyone trying to defend themselves with the Law Skill in an official legal capacity suffers an inherent -3 penalty to their Skill roll.
2nd Sep '17 2:30:31 AM SeptimusHeap
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Almost always [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by someone asking the character if he is aware of the adage. Naturally this appears quite often in [[LawProcedural Courtroom Drama]]. In comedies, the ''pro se'' character often engages in CourtroomAntics that would get him thrown into jail in RealLife, but because it is PlayedForLaughs, the character will often get away with it[[note]]A bit of Truth In Television here, as judges are usually more tolerant of irregularities from those who are appearing ''pro se'' and don't know the rules than they would be of an attorney, who should presumably know better; though it's still possible to take it way too far, and repeatedly engaging in behavior you've been warned against WILL get you jailed for contempt[[/note]]. Often involves HoldingBothSidesOfTheConversation when the character cross-examines himself. And it is almost guaranteed that, in response to the judge telling the character that he is "out of order", the character will yell back at the judge, "[[Film/AndJusticeForAll No]], ''[[Film/AndJusticeForAll you're]]'' [[Film/AndJusticeForAll out of order!]]" because apparently a lot of comedy writers are also AlPacino fans.

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Almost always [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by someone asking the character if he is aware of the adage. Naturally this appears quite often in [[LawProcedural Courtroom Drama]]. In comedies, the ''pro se'' character often engages in CourtroomAntics that would get him thrown into jail in RealLife, but because it is PlayedForLaughs, the character will often get away with it[[note]]A bit of Truth In Television here, as judges are usually more tolerant of irregularities from those who are appearing ''pro se'' and don't know the rules than they would be of an attorney, who should presumably know better; though it's still possible to take it way too far, and repeatedly engaging in behavior you've been warned against WILL get you jailed for contempt[[/note]]. Often involves HoldingBothSidesOfTheConversation when the character cross-examines himself. And it is almost guaranteed that, in response to the judge telling the character that he is "out of order", the character will yell back at the judge, "[[Film/AndJusticeForAll No]], ''[[Film/AndJusticeForAll you're]]'' [[Film/AndJusticeForAll out of order!]]" because apparently a lot of comedy writers are also AlPacino Creator/AlPacino fans.
24th Aug '17 3:26:41 PM Fireblood
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/TheEscapeArtist'': Will defends himself when he's charged with Foyle's murder. [[spoiler: Since he's a skilled barrister already, plus has set things up to make it look like self-defense, it works.]]
15th Aug '17 5:08:00 AM Fiendish
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* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': one episode involves a man who has this trope quoted at him by the judge. This client wasn't so foolish -- he walks away with an acquittal, although he is later rearrested.

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* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': one ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'':
** One
episode involves a man who has this trope quoted at him by the judge. This client wasn't so foolish -- he walks away with an acquittal, although he is later rearrested.rearrested.
** More than once, SVU has also had the particularly nasty variant where the person representing him or herself is a rapist or pedophile, and gets to cross-examine their own victim, over the strenuous (but usually futile) objections of the ADA.
16th Jun '17 10:22:57 AM GrigorII
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Added DiffLines:

It may happen when TheMainCharactersDoEverything, as this trope saves the need to create a new lawyer character.
13th Jun '17 6:56:18 PM ShorinBJ
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In general, most legal professionals consider a person going to court without the aid of an attorney to be a really bad idea, even when the litigant ''is an attorney themselves''. Not all attorneys are versed in all forms of law; how many alleged murderers does the average tax lawyer defend in their lifetime, after all? Furthermore, even if said attorney ''is'' an expert in that precise field of law, being that close to the matter at hand is a great way to lose sight of the big picture. There is a reason why adage in full often reads as some variation of "The man who represents himself has a fool for a client ''and an ass for an attorney.''"

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In general, most legal professionals consider a person going to court without the aid of an attorney to be a really bad idea, even when the litigant ''is an attorney themselves''. Not all attorneys are versed in all forms of law; how many alleged murderers does the average tax lawyer defend in their lifetime, after all? Furthermore, even if said attorney ''is'' an expert in that precise field of law, being that close to the matter at hand is a great way to lose sight of the big picture. There is a reason why the adage in full often reads as some variation of "The man who represents himself has a fool for a client ''and an ass for an attorney.''"



* ''Series/{{CSI}}'',

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* ''Series/{{CSI}}'', ''Series/{{CSI}}'':



* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'': Al was sued when his children caused a car crash and he decided he didn't need a lawyer. The judge ruled against him and he was forced to pay for damages. To avoid being arrested for not paying, Al decided to go into hiding but was ran over by someone who, according to the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue, paid Al's debt as a way to settle.

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* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'': Al was sued when his children caused a car crash and he decided he didn't need a lawyer. The judge ruled against him and he was forced to pay for damages. To avoid being arrested for not paying, Al decided to go into hiding but was ran run over by someone who, according to the WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue, paid Al's debt as a way to settle.



* It is revealed on ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' that the Klingons have a variation on this; at one point, B'Lanna Torres relates to the Doctor the Klingon proverb "The doctor who operates on himself has a ''P'Tok'' for a patient."

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* It is revealed on ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' that the Klingons have a variation on this; at one point, B'Lanna Torres relates to the Doctor the Klingon proverb "The doctor who operates on himself has a ''P'Tok'' ''p'tahk'' for a patient."
12th May '17 6:24:02 PM Fireblood
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* ''Series/BetterCallSaul'': Jimmy decides to represent himself, despite being warned against it and knowing full well about the reputation doing so has. In this case at least he is a lawyer, and has done criminal cases, but even so.

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* ''Series/BetterCallSaul'': Jimmy decides to represent himself, despite being warned against it and knowing full well about the reputation doing so has. In this case at least he is a lawyer, and has done criminal cases, but even so. {{Downplayed}} as he teams up with Kim.
24th Apr '17 8:43:23 PM Fireblood
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* [[http://asianhistory.about.com/od/profilesofasianleaders/p/fmarcosbio.htm Ferdinand Marcos]] was once accused by taking part in a politically-motivated assassination. Long story short, he represented himself and won. He became the President of the Philippines before implementing martial law and becoming a dictator. He was removed from power following the People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA revolution) in 1986.

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* [[http://asianhistory.about.com/od/profilesofasianleaders/p/fmarcosbio.htm Ferdinand Marcos]] was once accused by of taking part in a politically-motivated assassination. Long story short, he represented himself and won. He became the President of the Philippines before implementing martial law and becoming a dictator. He was removed from power following the People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA revolution) in 1986.



* As explained above, most ''pro se'' defendants and litigants are actually arguing in good faith, and making a genuine effort to be reasonable within the standards of the law. However, an increasingly large class of people, defined as 'OPCA litigants' by Judge Rooke (in Alberta, Canada) stand before the court on their own because their antics are so outrageous that no sane lawyer would represent them. A recent and infamous example is Ryan Bundy, who [[http://wonkette.com/604979/surprise-ryan-bundy-goes-full-sovereign-citizen-declares-self-idiot-not-subject-to-your-damn-laws not only decided upon pro se representation, but subsequently claimed that he was incompetent to stand trial -- in his own words, claiming himself an idiot -- and attempted to charge the court millions of dollars for his time.]] Similar courtroom antics have led to many judges growing increasingly frustrated with ''pro se'' representation, whether warranted or not.
* Like most of his revolutionary peers, Georges Danton was a lawyer by trade and a eloquent orator to boot, so when the UsefulNotes/FrenchRevolution (or rather, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety) turned against him and put him in front of a KangarooCourt, Danton - who was denied counsel - was more than willing and able to handle his own defense. His death may have been pre-decided (and indeed it was) and the proceedings may be a farce, but by the Supreme Being, Georges Danton would not go down without a fight. He used any trick in the book and CourtroomAntics to get justice and sway the opinion of the spectators; he nearly got away with it, but when he demanded his right to call witnesses (which he clearly had according to letter and spirit of the law), the tribunal whose only purpose was a guilty verdict had enough and denied Danton and all other defendants the right to appear before court again. The "guilty" verdict was handed down shortly afterwards, and Danton [[OffWithHisHead had his date with Madame Guillotine]] a little after that.

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* As explained above, most ''pro se'' defendants and litigants are actually arguing in good faith, and making a genuine effort to be reasonable within the standards of the law. However, an increasingly large class of people, defined as 'OPCA litigants' by Judge Rooke (in Alberta, Canada) stand before the court on their own because their antics are so outrageous that no sane lawyer would represent them. A recent and infamous example is Ryan Bundy, who [[http://wonkette.com/604979/surprise-ryan-bundy-goes-full-sovereign-citizen-declares-self-idiot-not-subject-to-your-damn-laws not only decided upon pro se representation, but subsequently claimed that he was incompetent to stand trial -- in his own words, claiming declaring himself an idiot -- and attempted to charge the court millions of dollars for his time.]] Similar courtroom antics have led to many judges growing increasingly frustrated with ''pro se'' representation, whether warranted or not.
* Like most of his revolutionary peers, Georges Danton was a lawyer by trade and a eloquent orator to boot, so when the UsefulNotes/FrenchRevolution (or rather, Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety) turned against him and put him in front of a KangarooCourt, Danton - who was denied counsel - was more than willing and able to handle his own defense. His death may have been pre-decided (and indeed it was) and the proceedings may be have been a farce, but by the Supreme Being, Georges Danton would not go down without a fight. He used any trick in the book and CourtroomAntics to get justice and sway the opinion of the spectators; he nearly got away with it, but when he demanded his right to call witnesses (which he clearly had according to the letter and spirit of the law), the tribunal whose only purpose was a guilty verdict had enough and denied Danton and all other defendants the right to appear before court again. The "guilty" verdict was handed down shortly afterwards, and Danton [[OffWithHisHead had his date with Madame Guillotine]] a little after that.



* James Romine of Digital Homicide represented himself in his lawsuit against [[WebVideo/{{Jimquisition}} Jim Sterling]] for the reason that he couldn't afford an attorney. A look at the details reveals exactly why getting a lawyer is heavily advised: Romine attempted to sue in the name of Digital Homicide LLC (a company cannot represent pro se, it has to have an attorney), via a court in Arizona (Jim Sterling isn't a resident of Arizona nor does he strictly speaking conduct business in the state, so the court had no jurisdiction over him) and with poorly presented arguments that fell straight into FrivolousLawsuit claiming damages of ''$10 million'' which only rose as the case went on. Romine's incompetence was to the point that in Sterling's post-mortem of the case, he notes that he and his allies' reaction to Romine's antics boiled down to 'I have no idea what he's doing'.

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* James Romine of Digital Homicide represented himself in his lawsuit against [[WebVideo/{{Jimquisition}} Jim Sterling]] for the reason that he couldn't afford an attorney. A look at the details reveals exactly why getting a lawyer is heavily advised: Romine attempted to sue in the name of Digital Homicide LLC (a company cannot represent pro se, it has to have an attorney), via a court in Arizona (Jim Sterling isn't a resident of Arizona nor does he strictly speaking conduct business in the state, so the court had no jurisdiction over him) and with poorly presented arguments that fell straight into FrivolousLawsuit FrivolousLawsuit, claiming damages of ''$10 million'' which only rose as the case went on. Romine's incompetence was to the point that in Sterling's post-mortem of the case, he notes that he and his allies' reaction to Romine's antics boiled down to 'I have no idea what he's doing'.
24th Apr '17 7:44:35 PM Fireblood
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* ''Series/BetterCallSaul'': Jimmy decides to represent himself when Chuck presses charges against him, despite being warned against it, and knowing full well the reputation doing so has. In this case at least he is a lawyer, and has done criminal cases, but even so.

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* ''Series/BetterCallSaul'': Jimmy decides to represent himself when Chuck presses charges against him, himself, despite being warned against it, it and knowing full well about the reputation doing so has. In this case at least he is a lawyer, and has done criminal cases, but even so.
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