Can’t Afford An Attorney? We Can Still Help You ‘Ghostwrite’ Court Documents.


Litigation is expensive.  Not everyone can afford to have an attorney for their case.  This means that some people have to act on their own, or “pro se” in legal terms.  This can be difficult for a person because they don’t have the training in the law to do an as effective job in their case as an attorney could.  This is especially true with drafting legal documents such as pleadings, discovery, and court orders. Sometimes, errors in legal documents can be fatal to an important issue or even your whole case.  That’s why it’s important to make sure whatever you have to file with the court is right. 


Fortunately, in some states like Virginia, you can hire an attorney to help you draft those documents even if they don’t represent you in your case.  In 2014 the Virginia State Bar came out with Legal Ethics Opinion 1874 which seemed to clarify that attorneys can “ghostwrite” court documents for people.  What does this mean exactly?  It means you can pay an attorney to draft court documents without having to incur the further expense of them representing you in the entire case.  It also means you can have the benefits of an attorney helping you do the crucial work of drafting court documents at a lower overall cost. 


Keep in mind, that these rules for ghostwriting are not the same in every state.  Some states are more strict so it’s important to talk to an attorney in your state to find out if you can hire them to do ghostwriting.  But if you are someone with a limited budget going through a court case on your own, ghostwriting can be a very good option for you to save costs but make sure your lack of training in the law doesn’t hurt your case.  Give WhitbeckBennett a call if you need help in your case, even if you don’t have the budget to hire an attorney full time. 

To learn more about divorce, visit our Divorce Law page.

To learn how our team can help you, contact WhitbeckBennett by calling 800-516-3964, emailing clientservices@wblaws.com, or visiting us here.

By: John Whitbeck

By: John Whitbeck

John C. Whitbeck, Jr. is the founder of WhitbeckBennett. His practice focuses on family law, special education law, and mental health law. He regularly practices in several jurisdictions in the Northern Virginia area. He has also been certified as an expert witness in litigation. To learn more about John Whitbeck, click here.

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