The Trials of Chris Tigani
When Robert Tigani mounted a multi-million dollar legal battle against his son for control of the family business, financially strapped Chris Tigani fought back by representing himself. He saved untold dollars and earned respect in the legal community. But has he saved his job?
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Like Hill, Dunn says that judges will try to work with those representing themselves, but they must balance that with their duty to remain impartial.
Attorneys generally agree that the personal nature of lawsuits is a hindrance to pro se litigants. All aspects of their cases are important to them, so, as Ramunno suggests, key points get lost.
Unless there is an out-of-court settlement, a decision on the N.K.S. case is expected early this year. (Attorneys for N.K.S. and Robert Tigani declined to comment for this story, citing the pending ruling.) Parsons has cautioned both sides that neither will be totally happy with his ruling.
For his part, Tigani says he received a fair trial, and he has praise for almost everyone who opposed him, as well as Vice Chancellor Parsons. And while he’s proud of what he accomplished, he is under no illusion that he’s the next Clarence Darrow. Opposing lawyers, he says, “were not scared of my legal prowess.”
“I have an incredible appreciation for what lawyers do now, and Leo is correct in saying that I would have had a lawyer if I could have afforded one. Tony Clark is light years a better lawyer than I am. But I didn’t have the $2 million or $3 million Skadden would have cost me. So, in total, I saved millions in fees, saved the bulk of my $22 million of assets, all by representing myself. That’s a big win any way you look at it.”