Here is a pattern that civil litigators see from time to time: company or individual gets sued and the defendant has a series of lawyers representing it, one after the other, starting with the legal rockstar, going to the B-list, down to the C-list, and so on. Sometimes the unfortunate defendants finally end up “pro se,” that is, in court without a lawyer. This is almost always because the unfortunate defendants’ resources are being depleted and such defendants are progressively tightening the belt on their legal fees.
(Corporations, on the other hand, are not allowed to appear “pro se,” that is at least until they bring a constitutional claim that this denies them their constitutional right to due process.)
I noted a recent case that seems to deviate from this pattern in a curious and inscrutable way.
C.H. Robinson, a major Minnesota employer and provider of transportation logistics, helped U.S. Sand, based in Texas to ship tons of “ceramic proppant” from China to the Bakken oil range in North Dakota. This was not an act of charity on C.H. Robinson’s part. C.H. Robinson had hoped and expected to be paid for its work. U.S. Sand allegedly did not pay C.H. Robinson and so C.H. Robinson sued U.S. Sand.