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I know it will sound as if I want to keep the precious legal world for legally qualified people only, but isn't it fairly obvious that the reason lawyers exist is to interpret the law because it is a specialised area? As others have said in many previous, similar posts, you wouldn't be able to walk into an operating theatre and have a go at taking an appendix out, just because you've been able to Google it and have read about it online in journals and forums. To my mind, the law is just as complex as medicine - and before anybody says it, I accept that it is unlikely to have such an immediate life or death consequence as my intentionally ridiculous example above. But it does change lives.
What I am saying, essentially, is that I wouldn't try to take an engine apart and put it back together unless I had been trained to do so; I wouldn't try to rewire a house unless I had been trained to do so; I wouldn't suggest to my friend that I took his tooth out to save him a trip to the dentist just because I'd watched it on television. So - why is it so different to suggest that the right person to advise and navigate the litigation/case law/statute arena is a lawyer, who has been trained to do that very task?
As I say, I expect to be called protectionist, but isn't it the right tool for the right job?
The plethora of information available to all has a downside as well as an upside. It is easy as a litigant in person to be selective in your search, and you may well find something that supports your argument or your suggested procedure - but have you checked that it is not been overturned or superseded by case law or statute, or even practice rules? Would you think to do so, or would you be content that you have seen a similar argument to your own and therefore that must be a good thing. I know that without legal training, I would be tempted to ignore anything further than the supportive content, because I wouldn't know better. Having been trained to do so, a lawyer will look for the opposition and make a judgment accordingly.
That is what we have to sell, that knowledge, that experience, that ability. Why is it wrong that we want to do so?
So - top marks to the judge for trying to make the playing field a level one. It in no way gives an unfair advantage, but ensures that both parties are playing with the same rules.
I've done well this week; I've got to Tuesday afternoon before being compelled to post a 'rant' on the Gazette. Small victories...
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