Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

In Defense of Defending Ourselves in Court

I read with grave concern the Nov. 14 opinion-page article, "Defending Yourself: Legal Cons, and Pros." Unfortunately, it presents only the rarefied perspective of a judge sitting up there on a Massachusetts Superior Court bench.

From my vantage point, sitting down here on a Boston Commons park bench, as a court-ordered homeless indigent woman with no place to sleep, I can verify that the pro se litigant often represents the purest form of advocacy in our American courts today. Daring to risk the hazards inherent in this lonely type of advocacy, we believe fervently in the laws upon which our nation was founded. We grasp on to the United States Constitution with its Bill of Rights as our source of buoyancy when artful lawyers push us, drowning, into their sea of procedural technicalities and petty legal stratagems, which are merely channel markers of their corrupt system. I am a defendant in forma pauperis, forced to proceed pro se in the courts of New York State. My motion for a legal-fee award was denied in September 1995, leaving me unaided by professional counsel. I presently struggle against Herculean odds in a 7-year matrimonial proceeding that involves court-suppressed evidence about severe child abuse and domestic violence I speak for the thousands of pro se litigants who are routinely subjected to anxiety intentionally inflicted by court officers. Elizabeth Frothingham Cambridge, Mass. *Editor's note: The writer says she is scheduled to present her oral argument before the five judges of the Appellate Division: First Department at 27 Madison Ave. in New York on Dec. 11. The proceedings open to the public. OOO,OOOps The Nov. 13 page 1 article "Summit Goal on Hunger Needs Bio-Breakthrough" reports that rice yields have been boosted to 3.6 million metric tons per hectare. That works out to 7.92 billion pounds per hectare - a plot of ground 100 meters on a side. That divides out to 792,000 pounds per square meter. In turn, that equates to a yield per square meter that is piled 11. …

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