phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

a man who acts for himself...

Posted by Lewis on July 24, 2008 at 15:41

In Reply to: A man who is his own lawyer... posted by ESC on June 17, 2008 at 10:33:

: : : Please tell me what's the meaning of "a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client" I'm really looking for an answer, thanks.

: :
: : Only a fool would represent himself in court (i.e. be his own lawyer). Pamela

: I've looked in several references and haven't found a first use/origin yet.

It is a common adage amongst lawyers that 'a man who acts for himself has a fool for a client' - meaning that their lack of objectivity prevents them acting sensibly.

I knew a reasonably able lawyer who dealt with his own divorce and got completely taken to the cleaners - he knew 'better' than anybody else, but it did him no good against somebody who was rational.

Whenever I (rarely) consider suing somebody - I don't do it myself for that very reason - somebody else can be neutral and be realistic, whwereas I 'know' I'm right.

people representing themselves often make a pig's ear of it and take up enormous amounts of court time with arguments that have little or no legal significance. judges sit in dread of one litigant in person after another...