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The cost of a lawyer was more than the amount of money under dispute. It may have felt good to take the company to court and win, but the cost of representation plus the leave time I would have had to burn to spend time in court and satisfy all the discovery paperwork requests would have cost much much more than what the company was charging me. How does it make sense to spend so much time and money over such a small claim?

And what about people who can't afford lawyers? Why does any American citizen have to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money disputing something that should be resolvable with a phone call?

You said you were charged over $1,000 and that this went on for six months. All it likely would have taken is a letter from a lawyer. The cost of having a lawyer send a letter isn't that much unless you're only considering super expensive lawyers.

Small Claims Court is often a much more affordable option. Still have to take some leave, though.

If one can't afford a lawyer, the state should provide one. Is this not how it works? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I have a professor who's also a lawyer, and he said something that resonated with me: "The law isn't about what's convenient [or profitable], it's about what's right." People who have been wronged can take things far beyond what would be "reasonable".

The mere presence of a lawyer changes every interaction you have with any institution. It makes ignoring you a far more risky endeavor.

In actuality, the state will only provide you a lawyer to defend you in a criminal case, and then only certain criminal cases (I think in Missouri it is cases where the penalty is normally jail time, not cases where they normally only fine you, like traffic ticket). Even then, state provided legal defense is usually horrendous- public defenders are very over worked and simply don't have the time to help their clients.

There should be legal counsel available, and it should be a lot easier to navigate the system; but unfortunate in the US (and probably most other countries) that is simply not the reality.

In the U.S., there is no right to a lawyer for any civil case, and for that matter not even in a criminal case. You have to be both destitute and a criminal defendant to receive a court-appointed lawyer.

Many people believe that all criminal defendants are entitled to a lawyer at government expense, but in fact they are not. Unless you are indigent, you'll be required to hire a lawyer yourself or do without.

> If one can't afford a lawyer, the state should provide one.

Not for civil matters, at least in the US. You are only guaranteed a lawyer for criminal charges.

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