Hello. My name is Lynne. I am addicted to Craigslist ads for paralegals ’cause some of them are just so darned thought-provoking (and maybe a little scary).
Hello. I am a Pro Per as the plaintiff in a civil harassment case against my neighbors.
I am needing a paralegal for the usual stuff. I have an attorney who advises me as needed on legal advice, but I need help with the documents such as with motions, opposition to motions, discovery, etc.
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The case has already been filed, so I’m looking for a paralegal that can get started fairly quickly. The work will be part-time freelance and sporadic as the case progresses. But I would like a paralegal that can stick with the case all the way through trial if that occurs.
Please respond by letting me know your experience in civil litigation, your compensation, and other information you feel is relevant. Thanks.
First, “pro per” is Latin for “oneself” – usually applied to folks that don’t have an attorney in a lawsuit. I betcha the neighbors are less than thrilled to be defendants in a lawsuit and are disputing this matter. I don’t know what the Latin term is for having an attorney just “as needed”, but I hope the plaintiff’s attorney lifeline is advising him or her to formally retain an attorney if it’s a contested case – with potential liability on the plaintiff’s part.
Second, I’m not clear if this plaintiff is civilly harassing the neighbors or vice versa, but suing your neighbors does not usually bode well for an individual that plays well with others.
Third, this does not sound like, you know, “usual stuff” for a paralegal not working under the supervision of an attorney, or even working as an independent paralegal or legal document preparer in accordance with California law.
If the plaintiff plans to proceed with the litigation, he or she needs an attorney to not only consistently “advise with legal advice” but to review and sign those original “motions, oppositions to motions and discovery, etc.” that come with the complex, messy and generally contested process of suing your neighbors. These aren’t routine self-help, fill-in-the-blank form documents.
The plaintiff also needs an attorney to “stick with the case all the way through trial” just in case those neighbors argue that they have been frivolously and civilly harassed themselves, and successfully counter sue for their damages, attorney fees and costs.
A word to the wise paralegal: don’t respond and don’t help civilly harass the neighbors.
What do you think? UPL or a case for a registered California independent paralegal or legal document preparer?