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Even self-representing litigants have deadlines

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Courts are weeding out frivolous cases before they cost employers piles of money in legal fees and lost time—even when employees represent themselves instead of hiring a lawyer.

Courts traditionally have been lenient with plaintiffs who represent themselves, giving them every benefit of the doubt. As this case shows, that seems to be changing.

Recent case: Audrey Saunders, who is black, worked for the IRS until she agreed to resign. Having a change of heart, she sued, claiming she had suffered discrimination. She represented herself in court.

However, the federal court hearing her case noted that she had missed a filing deadline and therefore threw out her case. The court also noted that Saunders hadn’t even sued the right entity—the IRS—but had instead tried to sue her former supervisors personally. (Saunders v. Lupia, et al., No. 07-CV-2408, ED NY, 2009)

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