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How often have you seen a District Judge terminate a Magistrate from a case?

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quincy

Senior Member
#16
You know, it always amazes me but most people will agree there are good and bad attorneys but will hardly ever agree that there are good and bad pro se litigants. :unsure: We all just get lumped in the bad category lol!

Oh well, life is just not fair is it?

I know one thing for certain, nothing seems to tick some attorneys (and their groupies) off more than pro se litigants. Awww bless their hearts...
Actually, pro se plaintiffs have an overall success rate in court that rivals that of attorneys.

This is largely because most pro se litigants limit themselves to small claims actions. Their success rate drops dramatically when they attempt a case on their own in federal court.
 


#17
Actually, pro se plaintiffs have an overall success rate in court that rivals that of attorneys.

This is largely because most pro se litigants limit themselves to small claims actions. Their success rate drops dramatically when they attempt a case on their own in federal court.
You're probably right; I've not done any extensive research on the subject because that is not my concern at this time but saying that pro se litigants always lose would be incorrect. :)

All that aside, let's try to keep this on topic shall we? I'll be hitting the ignore button for those that can't offer anything other than their own opinion.
 
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quincy

Senior Member
#19
You're probably right; I've not done any extensive research on the subject because that is not my concern at this time but saying that pro se litigants always lose would be incorrect. :)
Correct. Some pro se litigants do very well.

It is harder for them to do well when they are up against a party represented by an attorney.
 
#20
I've stood back, looked at this R&R from every angle there is and as objectively as I can see nothing but bias at play here and that is unfortunate to experience.
I've seen a number of clients and pro se parties who, upon seeing a ruling adverse to them, assume that the judge or jury was biased against them. In most cases that is not the case, however. Rather, the judge or jury simply viewed the matter differently than did the client/pro se litigant. Either the magistrate or the district judge got it wrong (it's not necessarily the case that the district judge was right, after all). Assuming that the magistrate got it wrong, that does not automatically mean the magistrate was biased against you any more than it would be necessarily be the case that the district judge was biased in your favor in overturning the magistrate. Judges (and magistrates) do sometimes disagree on how the law applies in a particular set of circumstances. Indeed, look at all the split opinions in Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases. It happens a lot. There is often disagreement on how the law applies to a given circumstance. That does not mean that any of the judges are biased for or against a party or that any of the judges are incompetent. One has to look at the logic underlying the decisions to determine just how good the judges are.

And it makes me wonder how involved some people get in their cases? My attorney sent me the R&R but I don't know if this happens usually? If it happens that most attorneys do not share these things, but only offer their opinions, how many have lost because of it. As a Plaintiff in other cases, I can tell you nothing was shared with me but the settlement.
Most lawyers in my area would have provided their client with the magistrate's recommendation. I certainly would have. The client needs to know that to take that into account when deciding the next steps in the case.

I'm extremely lucky to have been assigned a Judge that has a special interest in cases like mine. Can you tell me if Judges are generally assigned cases where they are already familiar? It would make sense that they would be because they've done the research but of course, I have no idea. But if that is true, then I might benefit from removing this magistrate, whether she is truly biased or just ignorant.
The Chief Judge of the court determines how the cases are assigned. Each district therefore can do it differently. However, most commonly the cases are randomly assigned among the judges, excluding those judges who already have a case load that would not permit them to take on more So I would not assume that the district judge presiding over your case has any special expertise in whatever the issue is in your case.

I have a goal and that is to set a precedent and then I can hopefully retire from this case.
In my experience, people who litigate to try to prove a point or set precedent end up being disappointed; they don't get out of what they think they will. In any event, the only way a federal case is going to set any binding precedent is if the case is heard by the Court of Appeals. So, if you win at the trial court level, the only way this makes precedent is that the defendant appeals the judgment of the trial court and the basis for the appeal is the issue on which you want to set the precedent. Note, too, that the decision would only set binding precedent in that circuit; an appeal from a district court in Georgia goes to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which covers just 3 states: Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Those are the only 3 states for which the decision would serve as binding precedent.

As a plaintiff, if you win in the trial court you should be happy if the defendant does not appeal because there is always the chance the Court of Appeals may reverse the decision of the trial court and you end up losing in the end. It also means you don't have to expend the extra time and money to litigate the appeal. All this to say, be a bit careful what you wish for. ;)
 
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#21
Actually, pro se plaintiffs have an overall success rate in court that rivals that of attorneys.

This is largely because most pro se litigants limit themselves to small claims actions. Their success rate drops dramatically when they attempt a case on their own in federal court.
Well, certainly if you include small claims actions it would significantly raise the success of pro se parties because in general in small claims court they are on level playing field; their opponent is also unrepresented. When you look the success rate of pro se litigants in other courts where the rules are more complex and most parties do have lawyers their success rate is, as you noted, not nearly as good. For example, pro se parties tend to do very poorly in U.S. Tax Court. Pro se parties also tend to have a hard time in federal district court too (at least outside of bankruptcy cases).

But that said, some pro se parties can do a good job of litigating their own cases if they put the effort into it and have the ability to think logically, write well, and think fast on their feet.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#22
Well, certainly if you include small claims actions it would significantly raise the success of pro se parties because in general in small claims court they are on level playing field; their opponent is also unrepresented. When you look the success rate of pro se litigants in other courts where the rules are more complex and most parties do have lawyers their success rate is, as you noted, not nearly as good. For example, pro se parties tend to do very poorly in U.S. Tax Court. Pro se parties also tend to have a hard time in federal district court too (at least outside of bankruptcy cases).

But that said, some pro se parties can do a good job of litigating their own cases if they put the effort into it and have the ability to think logically, write well, and think fast on their feet.
Right. I specifically said that pro se plaintiffs tend to do well "overall," because most pro se plaintiffs limit themselves to small claims actions.

When tackling a case on their own in higher courts, however, pro se plaintiffs do not fare nearly as well.

I think mrsjohnson would be smart to concentrate on what is before her now instead of looking too far into the future.
 
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#23
@Taxing Matters Thank you.

I concur. A legal precedent is set when there is no other binding precedent and it can be set by the court when there is little to no case law surrounding a particular issue.

In my case, an old law combined with a new circumstance created a new legal question. That question was answered in District court, same Defendant who didn't appeal. However there is an element that was overlooked in the application of the law, a slight flaw if you will. The Defendant will not appeal this cause of action. I know this because by doing so, it will expose them to more law suits. Because there is so little authority surrounding this particular issue, my case will take precedent. I understand the precedent will not be binding but it will not matter. When there are literally like three cases to cite on this issue you've got to cite one of them. If another plaintiff brings this action to court, my case will be cited over the existing one because the outcome is better for the plaintiff.

I've studied this law, this Defendant and the other "main" cause of action in my case for over two years and have it memorized. I know every winner and loser case there is to know and can cite them. So what is going to happen as soon as the stay is lifted is that I'm going MSJ on this one cause of action and I'm going to win it.

Back my judges... the district judge pointed out that the magistrate ignored binding eleventh circuit precedent when applying the law. The district judge didn't get it wrong, the magistrate did. It was bad, very bad. It was a hack job and now I have to decide what to do and this decision is a hard one to make. But I'll figure it out.

In closing and this is not directed at you @Taxing Matters but for the other folks here. I would not be so quick to judge others abilities or what they know before you have all the facts, not if you want people to take what you have to say seriously. @PayrollHRGuy and @Zigner your condescending attitudes only serve to make you look petty and weak. I'm not sure what deeper, underlying issues either of you have but please try and refrain from making those issues someone else's problem. Ain't nobody got time for that chit.
 
#27
I am not sure mrsjohnson's efforts are worth the $1000 in damages that spurred her legal action but it is her time. :)
Much has happened (obviously) since I started that thread my dear @quincy. Besides my becoming older and wiser, I found an attorney, lost an attorney, turned down a firm for a class action on this issue, found another attorney, filed the complaint, lost an attorney, got a settlement offer 10x the amount @quincy mentioned, turned that down, amended complaint to add ten more claims and now heading to settlement mediation.

People are very quick, sometimes too quick to judge a case as having no merit when it could be that an attorney will not take a case simply because their unfamiliar with the law surrounding it or don't see it as a big money case. As a result people like me are sometimes left with no other choice but to drop it, or forge ahead alone unless of course, they willing to pay money to pursue it. Lawyers are humans and make mistakes. What happens if you pay a lawyer and she screws up your case? You going to pay yet another one to handle your malpractice suit?

Something else happened since I started that two year old thread that's worth mentioning. A friend of mine needed an attorney but couldn't find one pro bono. So I found a complaint for him to copy and told him what I would put in it, if it were me. He filed the complaint and this huge organization, a household name, immediately took down a portion of their website. Busted! So he went through the motions, with my suggestions, initiated discovery, with my suggestions and settled for a little less than six figures. Yet no attorney would take his case. Did I practice law without a license? Maybe but it is what it is. Sue me. The corrupt organization paid to play and my friend was able to move on, with a fatter wallet.

I just watched a video made of Eric C. Lawson. He's a prime example of what I'm talking about here. No one would fight for him so he took his case to the Supreme Court and won, pro se. The guy felt he was right and wasn't going to let it go. And that's me in a nutshell.

If pro se litigants get under your skin for whatever reason, don't blame them, blame the attorneys who created them. For some of you, all you need to do is go look in the mirror.

Ya'll have a nice day! :)
 

quincy

Senior Member
#28
Much has happened (obviously) since I started that thread my dear @quincy. Besides my becoming older and wiser, I found an attorney, lost an attorney, turned down a firm for a class action on this issue, found another attorney, filed the complaint, lost an attorney, got a settlement offer 10x the amount @quincy mentioned, turned that down, amended complaint to add ten more claims and now heading to settlement mediation.

People are very quick, sometimes too quick to judge a case as having no merit when it could be that an attorney will not take a case simply because their unfamiliar with the law surrounding it or don't see it as a big money case. As a result people like me are sometimes left with no other choice but to drop it, or forge ahead alone unless of course, they willing to pay money to pursue it. Lawyers are humans and make mistakes. What happens if you pay a lawyer and she screws up your case? You going to pay yet another one to handle your malpractice suit?

Something else happened since I started that two year old thread that's worth mentioning. A friend of mine needed an attorney but couldn't find one pro bono. So I found a complaint for him to copy and told him what I would put in it, if it were me. He filed the complaint and this huge organization, a household name, immediately took down a portion of their website. Busted! So he went through the motions, with my suggestions, initiated discovery, with my suggestions and settled for a little less than six figures. Yet no attorney would take his case. Did I practice law without a license? Maybe but it is what it is. Sue me. The corrupt organization paid to play and my friend was able to move on, with a fatter wallet.

I just watched a video made of Eric C. Lawson. He's a prime example of what I'm talking about here. No one would fight for him so he took his case to the Supreme Court and won, pro se. The guy felt he was right and wasn't going to let it go. And that's me in a nutshell.

If pro se litigants get under your skin for whatever reason, don't blame them, blame the attorneys who created them. For some of you, all you need to do is go look in the mirror.

Ya'll have a nice day! :)
There was an interesting study published in the Pepperdine Law Review titled: "Do Lawyers Matter: The Effect of Legal Representation in Civil Disputes."

It might interest you.

I have always believed that there should be legal representation provided to the indigent for civil actions as it is provided to the indigent in criminal actions. Some states now provide this for some areas of the law. Other states have considered it. But it is not widespread.

Good luck with your case.
 
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