Adverse Effect of Self-Representation in Hearing - Cause, Effect & Solutions

11 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008

See all articles by Utsav Mukherjee

Utsav Mukherjee

National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ)


There are numerous disadvantages to self-representation. First, if the opposing party has retained an attorney to represent him during the proceedings, the self-representing party is required to deal with the opposing party's attorney. Dealing with an attorney as a lay person may be very difficult. Also, the attorney knows information about the court process in general that the lay person generally does not know. Second, attorneys are knowledgeable about courtroom procedures and lay people generally are not. It may be very difficult for a party to enter a courtroom, which may be intimidating, and represent himself or herself before a judge. Third, if the party opts to represent themselves, they may be harbouring a lot of anger, sadness, or other may be in a fragile emotional state and may not be able to effectively represent them. Fourth, if a lot of discovery is required during the divorce proceedings, the self-representing party may have a difficult time complying with the discovery requests and may not know of all of the potential discovery tactics. Last, the self-representing party may not be aware of all of the tactics used in proceedings with respect to, among other things, dividing property and debts. Although the court has an obligation to ensure that any type of divorce settlement is fair and equitable, the court is not only looking out for the self-representing person, they are also looking out for the opposing party, whether he is represented or not.

Suggested Citation

Mukherjee, Utsav, Adverse Effect of Self-Representation in Hearing - Cause, Effect & Solutions. Available at SSRN: or

Utsav Mukherjee (Contact Author)

National Law University Jodhpur (NLUJ) ( email )

NH-65, Nagour Road
Kamala Nehru Nagar, Jodhpur
Mandore, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 34230

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