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When is it ever right, OK or advised for someone to file a civil law suit pro bono?

Seattle, WA |

I have an ABA Paralegal certificate, 3 years litigation experience, am an effective writer and would like to file a civil lawsuit against an attorney (for malpractice, etc.) and an estate executor (negligence, etc.). It's involving a complex matter that is over 2 years old. For another attorney to pick it up and understand it, it would take a lot of hours for her and she still would not understand the matter nearly as much as I do. I seem to know the probate law better than most attorneys I've spoken with. I am not comfortable with all the attorneys near the county court the hearings would take place in. I do
I do not have sufficient funds to pay for an attorney and pro bono services are daunting.
Based on that, is it still advisable for me to hire a lawyer vs. working on my own?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    You need an attorney in your corner on a case like this one. Perhaps you can find one who will allow you to do a lot of the legwork on the file and thereby keep the legal fees down.

    Good luck.


  2. First off, I'm questioning your legal experience if you do not know the difference between pro-bono (free legal services) and pro-se (handling a legal matter on one's own.) Second, you may have some legal experience but have you handled this specific type of matter before? Do you have the necessary training and experience to litigate on such matters and to case manage this through the entire process, start to finish? I'm definitely not touting the superiority of law school versus law office training but there is a reason why attorneys often recommend speaking to other attorneys about these things.

    Your story is complex and you have, from your fact pattern above, concerns about the efficiency and effectiveness of counsel in your area. Still, it would be advisable to hire an attorney and work with them instead of proceeding on a malpractice claim on your own.

    This answer is provided as a general opinion to a question posted on an internet forum. This does not create in either party the expectation that an attorney-client relationship has been entered into between the original poster and the Law Office of Reid Seino, LLC. Any information provided should not be solely taken as legal advice but in the context of general information. Please seek legal representation for any specific legal questions.


  3. There is an age old saying that I'm sure you've heard before: the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. And you're not even a lawyer.

    I don't mean to bring you down. But it is not a great idea. (Imagine how you would feel in court when the judge pointed out to you the difference between pro bono and pro se.)

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this post, or any responses or comments thereto, should be construed as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship has been created by and between the person asking the question and The Dinneen Law Firm, PLLC, or Daniel K. Dinneen, Esq. If you believe you need an attorney, you should take steps to contact one in person; ideally, one who resides in your state.

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