Persons 18 years or older may choose to represent themselves or to be represented by a lawyer. Regardless of your choice, your opponent has a right to appear through a lawyer. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules provide that a CORPORATION may not appear as a plaintiff without an attorney, but may appear as a defendant through an officer, director, manager or supervisor. Corporate officers should consult with their lawyers regarding interpretation of this rule.
A trial in Small Claims court is speedy and inexpensive, yet it may be too complex for some people to handle on their own. The court will expect you to follow the same rules and procedures as a lawyer. While most parties in a Small Claims case do not have a lawyer representing them, some do. Consequently, you may find yourself facing a lawyer at trial. So consider having a lawyer represent you.