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Courts cut slack for employees who act as their own lawyers

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

When a former employee sues and decides to represent himself in court, expect an expensive case. That’s be­­cause courts typically give so-called pro se litigants every benefit of the doubt, since they don’t have attorneys to guide them (or tell them their cases don’t have a chance).

Recent case: John represented himself in his whistle-blower retaliation case against Western Carolina University. Both sides spent lots of time and money on discovery and the university prepared to go to trial.

But suddenly John wasn’t up to the stress of litigation. He got a doctor’s note and the court said the case could be put on ice until John got a clean bill of health.

That means the prospect of litigation will hang over the university a while longer. (Patterson v. Western Carolina University, et al., No: 2:12-CV-00003, WD NC, 2013)

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