Articles Posted in Attorney Representation

Yesterday’s New York Times ran an article questioning the enormous loans many students need to get through law school, and how law schools game the school ratings. That’s news? Here is a letter to the editor I wrote today, suggesting a radical fix:

To the Editor:

“Is Law School a Losing Game?” begs the question: what do we do about the foolish amount of debt students must absorb to get through law school? The answer is: change the structure of law school and the requirements one must meet to practice law.

Wabash Environmental Technologies, a limited liability company, was convicted of violating the Clean Water Act. The company was ordered to pay restitution and was placed on probation. After Wabash failed to make payments under the original restitution order, the company agreed to another payment schedule with the government.

The case then was dismissed, and Wabash appealed. But Wabash was represented in the appeal by one of its members, who was not a lawyer. The issue was whether, like a corporation, Wabash was prohibited from proceeding without a lawyer. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Wabash’s appeal and ruled that it could not appeal without a lawyer.

There are many small corporations and corporation substitutes such as limited liability companies. But the right to conduct business in a form that confers privileges, such as the limited personal liability of the owners for tort or contract claims against the business, carries with it obligations one of which is to hire a lawyer if you want to sue or defend on behalf of the entity. Pro se litigation is a burden on the judiciary … and the burden is not