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You want to sue who?

You want to sue who?. Typical legal issues raised by “pro se” patrons Family law Traffic law Employment law Business/Consumer issues Civil rights Public Benefits Estate Planning Real estate Criminal law Court procedure. Family law. Marriage and divorce Custody, support and visitation

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You want to sue who?

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  1. You want to sue who? • Typical legal issues raised by “pro se” patrons • Family law • Traffic law • Employment law • Business/Consumer issues • Civil rights • Public Benefits • Estate Planning • Real estate • Criminal law • Court procedure

  2. Family law • Marriage and divorce • Custody, support and visitation • Guardianship • Includes, children, seniors, disabled • Paternity • Protections from Abuse

  3. Traffic law • DUI • “Points” and license revocation • Traffic tickets

  4. Employment law • Worker’s Compensation • Unemployment Compensation • Termination • Discrimination • Family and Medical Leave

  5. Business/consumer issues • Establishing a business entity • Corporation • Sole proprietorship • Other • Non-profit corporation • Consumer complaints • “UCC” liens

  6. Civil rights • Discrimination • Free speech and assembly

  7. Public Benefits • Social Security • AFDC, Food Stamps • Veteran’s Benefits

  8. Estate planning • Drafting a will • Probating a will, managing an estate • Living wills and health care directives • Power of attorney

  9. Real estate • Landlord/tenant issues • Purchase of residential real estate • Purchase of commercial real estate • Oil and gas/Marcellus Shale

  10. Criminal law • Crimes: assault, drugs, theft, harassment, etc. • Arrest proceedings including bail • Criminal rights issues • Right to remain silent • Right to attorney • Search and seizure • Sentencing and expungement

  11. Court procedure • Small claims court • Subpoenas and court orders • Appeals • Judgments, including collecting on judgments

  12. The Rules of Legal Reference • Does the person have a legal problem that they are trying to solve? • What are the consequences if you are wrong? • UPL: Unauthorized Practice of Law • A risk? Yes, but not huge • Both civil and criminal consequences

  13. What you CAN do • Provide specific information in response to a specific question • Find cases/statutes/regs/forms when given the name or other identifying information • Locate items by citation • Locate contact information • Locate sources for information (w/ caution) • Refer patron to legal/other services • Refer patron to government agency • Be accurate, unbiased, and courteous • Be professional (not personal)

  14. What you CANNOT do • Do not interpret what something means • Do not suggest what a person should do • Do not select the specific information item (case, statute, form) if given incomplete information • Do not assist in completing forms • Do not involve yourself in the person’s problem • Do not act as an “expert” (“What I did was…”)

  15. Answer? Reference? Refer? • What does “Interlocutory Appeal” mean? • Is Dewey, Cheatum & Howe a good law firm? • How can I appeal a magistrate judge’s decision to the Court of Common Pleas • Does atty John Cheatum have any bar association complaints against him? • Who do I see about getting a PFA order against my ex-spouse? • Can you find the case of Row vs. Wade for me? • Who do I get a federal explosives permit from? • My landlord won’t return my security deposit, how do I sue him/her? • What does 27 CFR 555 mean?

  16. Answer? Reference? Refer? • My grandmother’s will left her house to me. Do I own it now? • I want to have my criminal record expunged. How do I do that? • I’ve had my criminal record expunged. Do I need to list it on a job application? • My neighbor’s tree droops over my fence and creates a mess (nuts, fruit, etc.) on my lawn, can I cut the branches that are over my property? • My friend says I should file a 1983 action against the police for harassing me. What’s a 1983 action and how do I file one?

  17. And some for the road… • How do I find an attorney to represent me at the last judgment? • What are the operational rights of bounty hunters in PA? • My wife just told me I’m not the father of our son. Do I have to continue to support him? • My mother-in-law just had my dead husband’s body exhumed and reburied and she won’t tell me where he is buried. Can she do that?

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