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Can a pro se litigant have his researcher with him during divorce proceedings or at trial?

Venice, CA |

I am paying someone to some research for me (legal, financial and otherwise). she is well informed on my case especially about the financial matters. Can I have this person with me during the trial in a family law trial in the event I need to ask her a question?

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Attorney answers 4


Yes, anyone can be in the courtroom for any divorce proceedings that are not closed. Court proceedings in our legal system, except in rare circumstances, are public. Your "researcher" however is not welcome to sit next to you at counsel's table unless your researcher is both licensed to practice law in your state and is of record as your representative.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


As a public observer but not at counsel table nor seated next to you.


Yes you can use that person as a witness.

Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair


If the "researcher" has actual knowledge of the facts and not just data supplied by the litigant.


The person can sit in the area with the rest of the general public, but he/she cannot sit next to you. As to whether you will be able to get up and take a break to ask this person a question during the proceedings, that will depend upon the judge and how he/she runs that particular court room. I would caution you against paying someone for legal research who is not a licensed attorney. There is a reason attorneys are required to graduate from accredited law schools and pass a very difficult bar exam: applying law to fact is very complicated and difficult. So if you are paying someone to provide you with legal research who is not an attorney you may be getting some very bad advice. And that could have serious harmful ramifications for your case. I sincerely wish you the best of luck, however, and I do hope this all works out for you.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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