What’s wrong with a little legal DIY?

DIYI get a lot of questions about “Should I do this myself?” Or, “What about this form I got from the internet?”  The truth is, like most things in life, there are times when it is okay to tackle a DIY project, and times when it is not the best choice to do it yourself.

For example, every time I’ve attempted my own plumbing job, thinking this doesn’t seem too hard or that video on YouTube makes it look SO easy, has generally been a disaster.  I often times have had to pay the plumber DOUBLE what it would have cost me just to call him in the first place.  The reason?  Now he has to fix my original problem plus whatever I tore up trying to fix it myself.  True story. You can ask my wife.

Cases in small claims court where each litigant is representing himself or herself, generally are okay if the dollar amount in dispute is very low and not worth paying a lawyer a retainer to take the case.  However, if the other side gets a lawyer, you generally should too.

As for the forms on the internet question, my advice is to be very cautious.  I’ve seen tons of forms and even some books in major bookstores which claim to be valid in all 50 states for divorces, for example, that were not even close to correct.  I’ve seen Pro Se litigants in court with these incorrect forms have their entire cases dismissed and their time, money spent on the bad forms, and the expensive filing fees all go to waste.  Kind of like my plumbing example, the people then have to pay more money once they finally decide to hire a lawyer.

I realize that money is often tight for folks.  I get it.  Believe me, I’ve been there.  However, never underestimate the value you get and the money you can save by hiring a competent professional with years of training and experience to do the job right the first time.  Just my two cents…


Published by: David A. Bailey on February 24th, 2016 | Filed under Uncategorized

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