I’m not saying Google doesn’t give good search results. But just like how WebMD has made some lay people in to doctors, Google has made some people act as their own lawyer to their own detriment.
In general, going to court without an attorney probably isn’t the best of ideas; using Google as your attorney for legal advice, probably an even worse idea. Leon Fadden attempted to file bankruptcy on his own, which in turn led to a conviction of bankruptcy fraud.
One of the key questions asked on a bankruptcy schedule is if you have any current or future interest in any real estate or anyone else’s life insurance. In normal words that simply asks if you are going to receive a house or money if a loved one dies. Fadden claimed he had no interest now or in the future, only to find out a week after he filed he was set to receive part of a home as well as a pay out from 2 life insurance policies. When he realized he was busted for the error, he took it to the next level.
Mr. Fadden filed a document in which he attempted to “take it back”. However, one District judge found it to be “largely indecipherable.” Fadden filed a “Notice of Rescission of Signatures……” and then appeared before the judge demanding the court dismiss his case based on the rescission of his prior signatures.
All of this was “strategy” reportedly created by a Google search Fadden did instead of hiring an attorney. The end result was he was sentenced to a year and a day behind bars after a two day trial. In twisted irony, his trial attorney was an appointed attorney.
Nobody wants to spend money on an attorney if they don’t have to or even if they do. I sure don’t. The reality though is that the old saying is true that anyone who represents themselves has a fool for a client. Emotion can get in the way or as appears to be the case here, pride that you know what you are talking about when you don’t can hurt you.
I feel bad for this guy because he probably thought he was doing the right thing or due to the bankruptcy couldn’t afford help. In the end though he, through his reliance on Google, really screwed himself.