I blogged earlier this week about the phenomenon of people being imprisoned for not being able to pay court costs and other fees. Now in another sign of the bad economic times, more people are opting not to hire attorneys and to represent themselves. The New York Times reports that as more individuals choose to handle their cases pro se, "judges, lawyers and courthouse officials across the country [are] raising questions of how just the outcomes are and clogging courthouses already facing their own budget woes as clerks spend more time helping people unfamiliar with forms, filings and fees." I assume that law libraries, especially those charged with serving the public, are also seeing more pro se litigants, but the article doesn't address that issue. Statistics are provided, although it is difficult to get reliable figures as each state's court system does things differently. Having pro se litigants before them puts judges in a difficult position. "The judge is supposed to be neutral but also has an interest in moving things along." One judge, John T. Broderick, the chief justice of New Hampshire, believes that "courts must do more to help people navigate the courts" in order to "ensure fair outcomes."