Pleadings signed by counsel bind the client if that lawyer is known to the court to be representing the litigant. Thus, there really is no difference. Where a lawyer appears before a court, he usually files what is called an Entry of Appearance, indicating his authority to appear and bind his client. If the lawyer prepared the initiatory pleading, it usually contains a "verification" indicating that the client has read and understood and ratified what the lawyer wrote. But generally, pleadings written by a lawyer, who is a professional, make more of an impression, than one written by a party. With the former, he knows what to include and leave out to justify the cause of his client.