Corporations and LLC’s are considered to be legal individuals, and while people can go to court without a lawyer and represent themselves (pro se), the Massachusetts Courts prohibit corporations from acting on their own without a lawyer to:
- File or Answer a complaint or any kind of court pleading
- or to make any kind of argument before a judge
- in Superior, District, or Housing Court.
In Massachusetts, corporations can represent themselves but only in Small Claims Cases (typically up to $7,000 in dispute). Varney Enterprises, Inc. vs. WMF, Inc. Companies can also proceed in arbitration or mediation without a lawyer because arbitration and mediation are private and not part of the official judicial system.
The roles that only a lawyer can perform are few, and there are many challenges to lawyers’ claims to exclusivity, but filing papers in Court and arguing in Court can only be done by lawyers where the party is a corporation or an LLC.