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Pro Se Resources

Courts allow people to represent themselves without using lawyers. It's called pro se. Washington D.C. attorney Roy Krieger has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that CIA treated employees who hired attorneys more harshly than those without attorneys. The MSPB even has a training video which says that employees can represent themselves. Empowerment, however, differs from success.

The MSPB does not publicize pro se successes. Recent volumes of its reporter contain many cases in which its Administrative Judges (AJs) improperly dismissed cases of employees acting without attorneys without any hearings, contrary to the MSPB's own regulations. Trouble is, the books are silent about what happened next. The employee could well have lost again after the hearing. Pro se litigants make mistakes, and unschooled advocates can make things more difficult for any judge, even those more experienced than many AJs. Also, the MSPB's compensation system encourages swift dismissals by AJs or settlements. Thus, whether these reversals are a trend is unclear--the MSPB is also up for congressional reauthorization soon.

Whether or not you chose to represent yourself, here are some links to web pages and suggestions. At the very least, these will help you educate yourself before hiring a lawyer, or help you discuss issues intelligently with him or her. Remember, this is in no way any sort of endorsement of these organizations or their advice. Other pages of this website have links to agencies and organizations which assist or interact with whistleblowers.

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