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Override the district local rules with a small change to legislation that will allow businesses to be represented pro se by their shareholders or directors if desired.

1,524 Views / Posted by Aaron Greenspan

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The courts generally frown upon pro se representation by companies because, they argue, the quality of legal discourse would decline without professional representation. Yet individuals are allowed to represent themselves, and the courts clearly seem to be able to handle that. The solution to the problem of low-quality legal discourse is by making the legal system more accessible and forgiving, not limiting legal recourse to only the most wealthy corporations in the country.
Supporter: Aaron Greenspan
Opponents: None
Section

Laws and Regulations, United States Code
28 U.S.C. § 1654: Title 28, Part V, Chapter 111, Section 1654 (Changes)

Current LawChangesProposed Law

In all courts of the United States the partiesparties, whether persons or corporations, may plead and conduct their own cases personally orpersonally, by counsel as,counsel, or in the case of corporations, through their executives, directors, and shareholders, as by the rules of such courts, respectively, are permitted to manage and conduct causes therein.

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Problem Small businesses are not permitted to represent themselves in court, but are not large enough to afford overpriced lawyers
Even though the law does not specifically forbid it, local rules in effect in most (if not all) federal court districts mean that small businesses such as my own are caught between not filing legitimate claims, and not being able to afford the cost of expensive lawyers. Yet I'm perfectly capable of representing my company's own interests, if only I were allowed to.

In cases where S corporations are not permitted to represent themselves, the shareholders are being taxed for their company's earnings, but they cannot represent the company's interests. It's a modern day form of taxation without representation, and it does not make any sense.

The policy of treating companies different than persons is further hypocritical given that corporations are treated effectively the same as persons in so many other contexts.
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