Is Your Case Right for Limited Scope Representation?

Filed Under (Bradford Publishing News & Updates) on 01-12-2012

limited representation, limited scope representation, simple divorce, legal services ala carte, unbundled legal services, low cost legal help With Unbundled Services Becoming Increasingly Popular in Colorado, Clients Should Consider Not Just Cost, but Fit

By Rachel Brand and Terri Harrington

Not all cases, and not all Coloradans, are a good fit for limited scope representation (a.k.a. unbundled legal services).  Before choosing between limited scope or full representation, consider your personality type and knowledge base as well as the type of case you need settled.

Can you handle the truth?

Well, not necessarily the truth—but can you handle the work? For example, how familiar with the legal process are you? Do you have the time and inclination to fill out paperwork, gather financial information and follow through?

As a limited representation client, you will need to do at least some (or the majority) of the legwork in your case, depending on what services you purchase from your attorney. Good candidates are those that have been through the legal process before (i.e. a prior divorce or custody battle), strong analytical skills, familiarity with how the law works, good follow-through skills and the time to move paperwork through the system.

If there’s an opposing party, who are you up against?

In some cases, you may use unbundled services to perform simple tasks, like writing a will or acting as an executor.  But, other times, you may have a legal “foe.”

Consider your opposing party. Do you trust him or her? Is the relationship acrimonious or contentious? If you’re not sure of what this person is capable of, and the outcome of the case is crucial to your life, you might consider having more legal representation than less.

However, if you have an amicable and trusting relationship, in the case of a divorce or custody matter, then you may be in a good position for limited representation.

What kind of case is it?

Although some believe that lawyers in any field can offer limited-representation services, some fields lend themselves more readily to this type of practice.

Family law, bankruptcy, housing, landlord tenant issues and estate planning are, if uncontested and/or uncomplicated, types of cases where you and your lawyer can divide tasks, or you can simply purchase a document review, a consultation or have your lawyer fill out certain forms for you.

If your case goes to hearing or is complicated with multiple contested issues, you’d be better served by full service legal representation.

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