Small claims cases are those where the monetary amount of damages sought is less than $5000.00. While some people choose to represent themselves in small claims matter , it’s usually better to determine whether you need a lawyer upfront rather than waiting until you’re embroiled in the middle of the small claims case and asking someone else to sort out the mess. Here are a few tips to help you decide if an attorney is needed in your case.
If you find out that the person you’re suing is using a lawyer and you aren’t, your first thought will probably be that you need a lawyer, too. After all, you don’t want the defendant having what seems like the unfair advantage of professional help. If you start your small claims case without an attorney, and the defendant hires counsel, generally the court will give you the right to get an attorney if you want.
If you want to delay because you’re not ready, saying that you now want a lawyer isn’t a good tactic. The judge may decide you had ample opportunity to get an attorney and deny your request. The court can give you options: going forward without a lawyer; discontinuing your case without prejudice, meaning you can bring it again; or discontinuing it with prejudice, which means you can’t bring it again. Any further questions, please feel free to contact Bryant Law.