Who can represent a defendant?

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Who can represent a defendant?

A person can choose to represent themselves in court. Can that same person also choose another party to represent them even if that other party is not a lawyer (and doesn’t claim to be)?

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Only an attorney may represent anyone other than him- or herself; no other person, including a nonlawyer with a power of attorney, may represent someone in court--though as you note, any person may choose to represent him- or herself. If a criminal defendant cannot afford an attorney, he or she should so notify the court, and one will be appointed for  him or her.


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