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So you bust your budget and make your selection. You sit there in court and watch attorney do his/her job. How are you supposed to be able to know whether best possible job is being done for you? There's no way to know because you don't understand game that's being played out. In end, judge calls both attorneys into chambers and goal of meeting is to find a compromise solution that will move case out of court. The attorneys do their thing and then they come back into court and tell you, "This is best possible deal you're going to get. Trust me on this one. If you don't take this deal, you're going to make judge angry and you will never get this deal again." What can you do? Nothing. You just lost.
But if you ever make decision to represent yourself in court, you'd better understand how to behave properly or you will really piss off judge. Here are basics of good courtroom behavior:
1. Don't digress. Make your points quickly, logically, and in logical order. 2. Always look judge directly in eyes when talking. 3. Forget your ego and just grovel. Say "Your Honor", "with all due respect", "forgive my ignorance" and things like that. 4. Dress well. Notice that attorneys all wear suits. Now why do you think they do that? Because they all own stock in Brooks Brothers? 5. When you do get your chance to go back into chambers, follow rules 1 through 4 again.
If you can master these basics, you will find that an amazing thing happens. The judge will be entertained by you simply because what you're doing is very rare and it's not what they have to sit through every day. If you're good and stick to basics, judge will bend over backwards to assist you. Of course, there is matter of knowing law and proper court procedure. It's possible to lose a case just by missing a trick and being beat to punch by your opposing attorney on a simple point of order. So . . . Do you need an attorney? Probably you do, but maybe you don't. I didn't.
As Sally Struthers said in All in The Family: "Case Closed !"
Peter Cross is a singer/songwriter/producer who was among the first to put music on the internet in downloadable format in 1996, and he has represented himself in court as Attorney In Pro Per many times. To this day, he is one of the only musicians who has created and designed his own music web site in html, and at 104 pages filled with entertaining content, it's one of the largest. Check it out at: http://www.starcrost.com