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How can I find an attorney to assist me with a pro per civil rights litigation? Is an online relationship possible?

Los Angeles, CA |

I would need an attorney to review documents, advise on procedural matters, and possibly some strategy. Is there opportunity for a flexible arrangement? My case involves deprivation of first ammendment rights, false arrest.
Could I do this online (i.e. find a lawyer in a distant city who i could send the docs, to online)?

Attorney Answers 3


you might find an attorney if you call around a lot of firms or solo practitioners. In many states, a lawyer's responsibilities under codes of professionalism established by state bar associations preclude attorneys from half-participation in a case--the responsibility/liability for all that can go wrong in a suit places an attorney who is only 'helping' at great risk. Few attorneys are willing to put their licenses on the line in order to save a pro per money. That said, in a few states (CA being one of them as I recall) the practice is growing. FWIW, the fact that you are specifically looking for a lawyer in a 'distant city' from your own is a red flag that does not improve your chances of finding such a lawyer.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

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i would prefer a local attorney, but have had some difficulty finding an expert in constitutional law, even for a consultation. I'm simply considering my options. I figured there may be ethical/ technical issues. Thanks for your answer.


Many of us, including myself, have engaged in such relationships. But, it is a very delicate relationship so the fit has to be just right. Good luck on your quest.

Free consultation. Direct line- 855-637-0938 .24/7. Video/Phone/In-Person. I provide my clients with honest, thoughtful advice and diligent, vigorous representation in a number of practice areas. I serve Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties. I wouldn't take any of my answers on as legal advice since there are still too many factors that need to be discussed before I can give you a reliable opinion.

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Yes, you can do this through an online relationship. The lawyer does not need to be in the same city as you.

You need to be careful here, however. If you are in state court, then it's a bit easier. The lawyer, however, must be licensed to practice law in California, assuming your suit is in a CA state court. Federal courts tend to dislike cases where attorneys help clients but are not on the papers, though that attitude may be slowly changing.

You are not allowed to hire a paralegal instead of a lawyer, as the paralegal is not authorized to give advice or draft pleadings for pro per parties.

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