Court admonishes beneficiary claimant to hire an attorney

An individual in an interpleader beneficiary dispute may be tempted to save on costs by representing themselves in court. This can have devastating consequences for a claim that may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

An example is found in a case pending in the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania: Howerton v. Kandarian, et al. In that case, a pro se party violated the court's Standing Practice Order, by filing a “Request for Documents and Discovery Material.”

In response, Magistrate Judge Arbuckle noted that "the task of federal litigation is a daunting one" and the party was proceeding pro se "at his own peril."  noting that the policy benefits at issue were $268,000, enough to "justify the involvement of an attorney with the necessary skill and experience to guide Mr. Howerton through the minefield that is federal civil litigation."  Judge Arbuckle urged the pro se party to seek the guidance of counsel. 

J. Michael YoungComment