Short Answer: No
When someone is pro se, it means that they’re representing themselves in court. Owners and other officers involved in corporate entities such as corporations, limited liability companies, non-profits, and limited partnerships, may wonder if they can appear in court on behalf of the entity. The short answer is NO. At least not after the MDJ level.
Rule 207 of the Magisterial District Judges Rules of Civil Procedure allows corporate entities to appear pro se at the MDJ level. However, that is not the case at the Court of Common Pleas and higher courts with very few exceptions including stockholder’s derivative actions.
In Pennsylvania, it is well-settled law that a corporate entity can only be represented at the Court of Common Pleas by “an attorney duly admitted to practice” law. Walacavage v. Excell 2000, Inc., 480 A.2d 281, 285 (Pa.Super. 1984). This means that an employee, officer, or even an owner of a corporate entity MAY NOT appear in court or file anything on behalf of the entity.
This means that the company needs a licensed attorney to represent it in actions at the Court of Common Pleas, even for appeals from the MDJ level. To preserve the company’s interests, it is best to obtain counsel as soon as possible. This applies to many types of litigation involving a corporate entity including evictions, collections, contract and real estate disputes, and consumer protection issues. For help with litigation issues, contact Attorney Hunter B. Schenck at [email protected] or use the Contact Us Form to set up a consultation with Attorney Schenck.
Hunter B. Schenck
Hunter B. Schenck provides legal services to individuals and businesses in the area of litigation.
Hunter has participated in multiple bench and jury trials while working at CGA Law Firm in both a solo and co-counsel capacity. She enjoys the opportunity to enter the courtroom and wants to help her clients obtain the best outcome for each case.
Hunter is ranked as 2021 Super Lawyer Rising Star. She is an active member of the York County Bar Association and serves as a member of the Social, Membership, and Law Day Committees. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the York County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section and a member of the Herbert Cohen Inn of Court. Hunter was a member of the 2015, 2017, and 2019 Bar Stools Casts.
Hunter may be reached directly at (717) 718-3950 or by email: [email protected].