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Tips & FAQs
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Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have been the undoing of many an unsuspecting person involved in a custody battle or divorce. When using social media to post what you think are private details of your life to your circle of friends, you should remember that the internet is not a secure place and your security and privacy on the internet is not a guaranteed thing.  Nothing is actually ever deleted from the internet.  For example, did you know that you cannot actually permanently delete a photo from Facebook?  While you can “delete” a photo from your profile, you cannot actually remove it as Facebook always keeps a copy (read your end-user agreement).  And what may not exist any longer on your social media platform exists forever in cyberspace.  Thus, the person who is involved in litigation – whether divorce or custody or personal injury or bankruptcy – is taking a big risk when they post details of court hearings or intimate details of their personal life thinking that the other side will not see it.  You may not be “friends” with your ex on Facebook, but one of your other Facebook “friends” might be friends with your ex.  So a word to the wise:  when contemplating litigation or in the middle of litigation – severely restrict your use of social media, refrain from disparaging your ex, your opponent, the court, the other lawyer, etc.  That kind of cosmic justice can really sideline your pursuit of justice. 

 A well-known proverb, at least among lawyers, is “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client.”  In the U.S., one has the right to represent oneself in criminal and civil proceedings (divorce, custody, child support, personal injury, breach of contract, etc).  Television shows often portray regular citizens representing themselves “pro se” (Latin meaning “for oneself”) in what is normally considered highly complex proceedings and quite often succeeding in fast tracked court cases.  In addition, most people do not really understand what a lawyer does when representing someone.  People assume it is submitting some basic paperwork to file in court and then immediately standing in front of a judge and jury and just “making an argument” about why they are right and should be given the relief and outcome that they seek.   Lawyers are required to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree (usually 4 years at university) and a Juris Doctor (law school for additional 3 years) and then sit for a very rigorous bar exam and Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam before being able to practice law in any given state.  Lawyers learn how to research the law, how to study legal fact patterns, how to apply the facts to state laws and follow local rules in specific jurisdictions when filing pleadings, motions, etc.  In addition, legal experience in such matters counts just as much as education.  So when people decide that they can save themselves money in legal fees by representing themselves, they often wind up wasting time and money and quite often with an outcome that is mystifying and will be twice as hard to undo down the road.  Courts, judges, and magistrates have little patience or regard for pro se litigants because they come across as emotional and, of course, completely ignorant of court procedure or protocol.  Typically, when you have a complex matter, you hire an expert.  For example, if you needed heart surgery, you would likely hire an expert, a surgeon, to do this surgery for you, yes?  You would not do a Google search, look on Web MD, and then perform your own surgery, would you?  The same applies in these legal contexts.  If you want better results, you should hire an expert who has the education and experience in this field to advocate properly for the outcome you seek.      
  Vaughn & Associates, LLC offers expert legal advice and services for our clients and their families.  Our attorneys are here to PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS and ADVOCATE FOR YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.  We will help you successfully navigate the complex legal system. 

We practice in a wide array of areas including family law, juvenile law, immigration law, criminal law, probate/Wills/trusts, personal injury, employment law, and civil litigation.