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About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I like to think of myself as someone with a natural legal mind. In other words, the law makes sense to me. When I am contemplating a legal question, I intuitively have an idea of what the law on the subject is and when I do the research most of the time my intuition proves to be correct.
Once armed with knowledge I do not hesitate to act. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I tend to be bold and aggressive in the pursuit of justice. I consider myself to be a pro se litigant extraordinaire (pro see means "for self" in Latin and refers to people who represent themselves in court) The range of my disputes go from local court cases to administrative appeals with the IRS all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
In a landlord tenant case where my landlord was attempting to evict me because I refused to pay for pest control expenses, which I believed were the landlords responsibility I remember the landlord's attorney parading around the courtroom waving the lease around like a flag and looking pretty smug about the whole situation. I will never forget the look on her face when at the end the judge just looked at her and said, "Why isn't he right?" She was speechless.
I once owned a fourplex in Washington, D.C. and because of vacancy and rehab cost I was able to deduct substantial losses one year. This enabled me to file for a significant federal tax refund (about $9K). This triggered and audit by the IRS (my first and only one so far, knock on wood). The initial auditor disallowed all my deductions and said I owed the IRS $30K! I appealed internally to the IRS and ended up receiving a check for about $1,200 of additional refund.
My most impactful case involves a constitutional challenge in the District of Columbia. After my court appointed attorney completely abandoned and failed me, I took the case up myself. I ended up going all the way to the SCOTUS and they sent the case back to DC for further consideration, which is a major accomplishment for an attorney to achieve much less a pro se litigant. This is because the Supreme Court is not obligated to hear all cases and they are very picky about which cases they choose to get involved with. As of this writing (after 11 years) that case is still pending in DC. I anticipate that ultimately this case will be resolved in my favor, with truly life changing effects (for the better) for me and my family.
The DC case exemplifies why I feel so strongly that all people should maintain a basic understanding of the law and when they have a legal issue, they should always do their own research before consulting an attorney. In my opinion a lawyer is someone I pay to assist me with my research and to represent me in court to save me time and effort, not the ultimate resource for determining "what the relevant law is". That would be me. Unfortunately, there are too many legal professionals out there that only want to take your money without working for it. More about that later.