by Pro Se in Florida
I'm a U.S. citizen. My husband is a resident alien, an English citizen. My husband had a contract dispute with a Florida company, and sued to get his money back. Two attorneys dropped the ball, so we took it over pro se.
We had a motion hearing in judge's chambers -- our motion for summary judgment. It seemed clear cut enough. My husband had paid money, and did not receive the services which he had paid for, and he wanted his money back.
At the hearing my husband said that he wanted me to speak in his behalf because I knew more about his case than he did. My husband further explained that since he had never been in any court room in his life, and knew absolutely nothing about American law, that he would be better served if I could speak for him.
The judge said no. The defendant's attorney and the judge talked to each other about UPL, as if we weren't there, and as if we didn't know what that meant. The judge clearly told me that I could speak to my husband, and advise him during the hearing, but I could not speak in his behalf at all.
I felt it was very unfair. We had already tried to have me join as a plaintiff, but the attorney on the other side wasn't having that. I had also tried to argue that since we are a married couple then we are one legal entity, but nobody would buy that either.
The outcome of the hearing was alright. We did not win a summary judgment, but the opposing attorney did not manage to have the case dismissed either. We settled out of court a week later.
Interestingly, the opposing attorney required my signature on the settlement agreement along with my husband's.