What are unbundled legal services?
The “full bundle” of representation in litigation includes:
1. Gathering facts
2. Advising the client
3. Discovering facts of opposing party
4. Researching the law
5. Drafting correspondence & documents
7. Representing the client in court
Full-service legal representation brings with it a set of ethical responsibilities every attorney must satisfy, including the duty to provide competent and diligent representation to the client regarding the case at hand.
Unbundled legal services, or “limited scope representation,” means an attorney is providing less than the full scope of legal services to a client during the course of the representation. Unbundled legal services afford the attorney and the client the flexibility of addressing their legal needs and financial limitations by contracting for something less than the full bundle of services. An attorney may undertake limited representation of a “pro se” (formally unrepresented) party in a legal proceeding, at the request of the client and with the informed consent of client (i.e., after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the risks and reasonable alternatives to the proposed course of conduct). The limited scope of representation must be reasonable under the circumstances. In the unbundled context, the attorney’s ethical duties to the client apply only to the particular scope of issues and representation the attorney and the client have agreed upon.
The purposes of unbundled legal services includes:
1. Helping individuals gain access to judicial system
2. Addressing the increasing number of pro se litigants
3. Explaining legal procedures, principles, and strategies
4. Providing some legal assistance rather than none
Carrigan Law, LLC provides unbundled services to meet the needs of clients under a variety of circumstances. Court rules have recently made it easier for lawyers to represent pro se clients “in the background,” and even to appear at one or more hearings, without the firm becoming the attorneys of record, and without the full ethical responsibility to monitor and oversee every aspect of the case. This form of representation may be particularly appropriate in certain circumstances. Talk to us to see if unbundled services may be right in your case.