"The Judge is biased against me"

Is it possible that the Judge is "biased" against you? I suppose it's POSSIBLE, but the reality is the vast majority of judges are good and fair. Bad apples are usually quickly uncovered and removed. What most pro se litigants see as "bias" is explainable under a few difference realities: (1) if you represent yourself, you're held to the same standard as an attorney, so a judge will apply rules you may not understand and thus think "unfair"; (2) a judge WILL become angry and/or frustrated if you bring matters before them that don't belong there, or do things improperly (again, you're held to the same standard as an attorney), so if you constantly do things wrong, most all judges will become testy (can you blame them); (3) a judge has to apply the law, which may not always be "fair," I've seen this especially in landlord-tenant court, where loss of a job, having kids, medical problems, etc. are NO EXCUSE, under the law, for failing to pay rent. A judge has no choice in the matter.


"Everyone is out to get me"

It may FEEL like everyone is out to get you, but the chances that this isn't likely to be reality. For many of the same reasons set forth above, what you perceive as a "conspiracy" is, more likely than not, just your misunderstanding of a system with rules and procedures you likely don't understand. Almost nothing can turn off an attorney more than a potential client who claims "everyone" is out to get them.


"It's the principle that counts"

Principles are great things, don't get me wrong. The problem, from a practical perspective, if that principles are expensive. Look, I'm happy to represent someone with a meritorous case, and I don't have a problem representing someone in a small case, but the reality of a situation must be understood - if someone owes you a few hundred dollars, say, it will almost always cost more to collect than you are owed. I'm fine defending your principles, but I expect you to put your money where your mouth is.


"I don't have the money to pay you"

I understand that legal services are expensive, but look at it this way: how would you like it if your boss told you he wasn't going to give you your paycheck because the company doesn't have the money? I don't imagine you'd like that very much; I'd be pretty surprised if you stayed at that job, even. So why should anyone expect an attorney to work for free because you're "pro bono"? If you want to pursue legal action, you need to be able to pay for it. If you can't, you need to look at public aid or the various legal charitable organizations that serve low-income individuals. Many attorneys, myself included, volunteer for such organizations and handle cases pro bono, but we do it through the proper channels. After all, how I do know you can't pay me (especially if you have a house, a nice car, a good job, etc.). Most people can find the money if they need to, you just need to examine your priorities.


Waiting until after the fact

This one isn't a statement as much as an action. Speaking for myself, I handle litigation (lawsuits), including defending people in a variety of civil actions. Most every claim has some potential defenses - BUT, and here's the big BUT, if these defenses are going to work, I need to be involved EARLY! I'm not a miracle worker, and the reality is, once you get a judgment against you, or a series of rulings, etc., it's usually impossible for an attorney to do much. The time to get an attorney is when you're FIRST served with a lawsuit, not after a judgment. I think people think they can "do it themselves" and they don't realize they can't until it's too late. Unfortunately, if you mess your case up by doing the wrong things, even the best attorney can't usually fix it (there are SOME exceptions, of course, but not many). Don't wait too late. Get an attorney earlier rather than later.