MFLG is pleased to announce our association with Barth Calderon, LLP and Barth Financial Advisors, LLC.
Through this new relationship, we can now help people build and protect assets and preserve their standard of living with an objective legal and financial analysis. The following list of services will offer insight into the depth of our new association:
- Asset Protection for Personal & Business Assets
- Estate Planning (Wills & Trust)
- Business Succession & Exit Planning
- Limited Liability Companies
- Business Entity Formation
- Retirement Income Planning
- Disability Income Protection
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- 401k Planning & Risk Management
- Life Insurance Planning
- Financial Planning
We would like to offer you a complimentary planning assessment that can address any or all of the planning priorities listed above. The goal of the assessment is to ensure that you and your family are protected by means of updated and organized planning.
To learn more about our complimentary planning assessment or to schedule your initial priority planning appointment, please call us at (951) 463-5594.
Moore Family Law Group has a new Rockstar in the office!
Rachel is our new Legal Receptionist and
loves working in the field of family law.
She started working in the legal field when
she was eighteen years old and has experience
in various areas of law. Rachel experienced her
own parent’s divorces (and remarriages), as well as
custody battles, giving her insight to what clients are
experiencing when they are reaching out for help. Rachel’s goal is to make every potential and existing client feel welcome and cared for.
When Rachel is not in the office, she spends her time working in character entertainment for children. Her favorite way to utilize her free time is by visiting children in hospitals, dressed as their favorite fairytale friend.
Customer Service Rockstar
MFLG strives to exceed the standards of customer service. We perform regular quality check-ins to obtain important feedback from our clients. Of course, we hope to receive all positive comments but even the negative are appreciated. They help us improve anywhere we fall short.Our regular check-ins help us catch issues early and correct them immediately. We know we aren’t perfect but we definitely make every effort to be excellent. After obtaining two months of feedback from dozens of clients, our Rockstar Paralegal, Laura obtained the most positive feedback from clients of all the team members. Laura works hard and even with a heavy case load, she manages to make sure we are delivering on our promises of excellent care and customer service.
Congratulations and thank you, Laura!
In Pro Per, short for “In Propria Persona” and Latin for “for oneself,” meaning a person who appears in court without a lawyer, representing oneself. Another term referring to a party who is self-represented in a legal matter is “Pro Se.”
This article will discuss the pros and cons of self-representation.
The Proper Pro Per
When an individual comes in for a consultation, their case is assessed, and options are provided. MFLG is an honest firm with a good conscience and if a party is a good candidate for self-representation, we absolutely suggest it. An ideal candidate consists of 1) a short-term marriage (under ten-years); 2) no minor children; 3) no property division; 4) no debts; and 5) no issue of financial support.
The Short List
Let’s start with the pros of being a “Pro Per” litigant.
- You are not required to hire an attorney to represent you in a legal matter.
- You can prepare your own legal documents.
- You can argue your own case in court.
- You can meet all the procedural deadlines and find third parties to help you effectuate service of process.
- You can save tons of money representing yourself by doing the above on your own. Sure, it can be done. An ideal candidate is also 1) capable of doing it all; 2) has the time to do it all; and 3) wants to save money.
However, in reality, this is how it actually goes for a Pro Per.
1. You can take time off of work, drive to the court, pay for parking, and wait in line at the clerk’s office to file paperwork just for the clerk to reject your documents, tell you to get out of line to fix them – but doesn’t tell you how to fix them, send you to the back of line to file them, and repeat.
Sometimes the simple task of preparing a judicial council form and getting it filed at court is so frustrating, Pro Pers give up at that point never wanting to return to the clerk’s office on their own again.
2. You can spend hours and hours at a self-help center learning what forms you need, how to fill them out, how to file and serve your documents.
3. You can spend an entire day at a family law workshop learning the legal process.
Many people find value in these two options because saving money isn’t a preference – it’s the only option and because Family Law is so paper-intensive, they need the selfhelp center’s assistance. Once a Pro Per hears there are tons of rules and requirements, a workshop becomes necessary. However, if a Pro Per has a job, or has to find child care to attend said workshop, they have to balance out the options and again may give up on self-representation at this point.
4. Recruit a friend or family member to help you effectuate service.
No, you cannot serve your own documents in a lawsuit. It would be really easy to do it yourself and not involve third parties, but you cannot. People have to juggle the idea of asking someone to get involved in an often uncomfortable and private situation. Alternatively, find a process server and pay a professional to handle serving your documents. More fees.
Scenario: Fast forward and a Pro Per has successfully filed all the necessary paperwork and gets a court date scheduled. Now what?
5. Fast forward and a Pro Per has successfully filed all the necessary paperwork
and gets a court date scheduled. Now what?
6. Get prepared and hopefully familiar in the format of a court hearing.
7. Come up with your legal strategy. Are you well-versed?
8. Have the appropriate arguments ready and be able to quickly articulate them to the judge under pressure and time constraints.
9. The other party showed up with an attorney and now you are being bullied and the opposing counsel is leading the hearing. You become intimidated and do not know when you can interject or object. Do you have a fit, a panic attack or throw your hands in the air?
It’s a Money Thing
As a Pro Per, finances are the ultimate reason to put yourself through the Family Law ringer. If you have the means and understand that investing in experienced help is in your best interest, please do so. If you do end up in court and you are not prepared, well-versed, familiar, strategic, articulate, and are nervous under pressure or steamrolled by an opposing counsel, you may later find yourself in a very unfortunate and disappointing situation. It becomes necessary to hire an attorney to undo, or repair the damage done – if possible.
Often Going in Pro Per is Just Improper
Before making the decision of “going Pro Per” consider the above and then contact our office for a free consultation and case evaluation. If you are the ideal candidate to self-represent, we have options. We will help you save money and schedule you with a qualified and experienced Family Law Paralegal who works under the supervision of an attorney, to help you draft your paperwork and get them processed correctly the first time. The cost is nominal in comparison to full representation.
If your case requires an attorney, you will be provided some options and the benefits of paying for legal representation with MFLG are the following:
1. Experience: Our attorneys are either Certified Family Law Specialists, or have extensive family court experience litigating simple to complex matters.
2. You attorney(s) develop a strategy to litigate your matter. They argue the case for you with the intention of meeting all the goals you present to us.
3. You will be counseled/prepared prior to all hearings and mediation appointments.
4. You will not have to deal with a hostile opposing party or opposing counsel on your own. Your attorney can and will.
5. Some court appearances are made by your attorney. You would not have to go.
6. You receive the legal counsel throughout the course of your case to protect you, your hard-earned assets, and the most precious assets of all – your children.
7. Your team will consist of an experienced Paralegal and Legal Assistant to help keep costs down. They are a constant stream of communication keeping you apprised of any updates and also make sure your case keeps moving and doesn’t collect dust.
8. If the other party is the high-earner, your team can request an order for
9. Our attorneys are compassionate and truly want to make your life easier once you hire.
Going Pro Per is possible, and some people manage to pull it off. Is it suggested? Rarely.
Added Benefits of Moore Family Law Group
The benefits of having our firm represent you greatly outweighs the pros of being self-represented. We understand that sometimes it is your only option. In that instance, we can offer in-house financing. In-house financing is unique to law firms. We perform a soft credit check to see if you pre-qualify for a loan to cover attorneys’ fees – meaning it does not affect your credit to see if you pre-qualify. You can qualify for no money down, first payment in 30 days, interest rates as low as 3.99, and an affordable monthly payment to help you get started. This option has helped many get the legal representation they need
sooner than later and has saved many from appearing in court on their own. There is too much to lose doing it alone.
It is our mission to help clients get through difficult phases of life, and when the process is finished, they should feel happier and stronger.
Five star review from Rebecca M:
“If I had to do it again, the only thing I would do differently is hire Holly sooner. I couldn’t imagine having to go through it without her (nor would I want to) - she’s worth her weight in gold. Hire the best. Hire Holly, you won’t regret it.”
Thank you, Rebecca. Nothing makes the rockstars at MFLG happier than satisfied clients like you.