and one who sees how terribly technical the legal procedural rules are - especially in Federal Courts but in most states as well - I think that licensing lawyers is a good thing for the time being. There are bigger injustices in the world. I've never seen a self-represented person who wasn't also a lawyer win a case or even get a half-way decent result in a litigated court matter. Never.
I mean, take a few high-profile cases as an example. The DOMA case that the Supremes just settled involved, among other things, throwing the California claimants out on their ear for failure to establish standing. And the infamous Orly (who I am not a fan of even remotely) gets shut down all the time because of technical legal rules; while she is not what I call an "experienced litigator" she IS a lawyer, and still look at what happens.
And what most people don't understand is how lawyers think. Everyone has a functioning brain, but lawyers think like lawyers all day long, every day, for years on end. That has an effect and makes them very effective, in comparison to an ordinary person who is armed with the legal rules and principles (which in and of itself almost never happens to begin with). I know that is an unpopular view on this board but a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a lawyer and a jackass for a client, to quote Abraham Lincoln.
Finally, if something affects you directly, you can't make the cold, strategic choices that need to be made to respond effectively in litigation. Even the lawyers I know don't handle their own cases usually, because they are too emotionally involved. I have even hired lawyers to represent myself when I realized I was too emotionally involved. If one's ass or money is on the line, it is tough to be professional, effective, cold and calculating while worrying about said ass, when you're in the moment.
On the other hand, some people do their own dentistry and repair their cars with bailing wire and duct tape and put plastic wrap over the missing windows. If you want the equivalent of that for your legal case, maybe you should have the right to be that stupid. But that is what it would be.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein
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