Limited Scope Representation Benefits
Illinois limited scope representation allows attorneys to serve their clients, while reducing legal fees to clients. The idea of unbundling legal services allows a lawyer to represent a client on a limited basis in a particular legal matter. The purpose behind the new laws is to allow the client to receive quality legal assistance without the hefty expense that can often come with retaining an attorney for an entire case.
Illinois limited scope representation makes justice more accessible to individuals who do not have the financial ability to pay a large retainer fee or hire an attorney to work on their entire case from start to finish. The concept of unbundling legal services is an ideal solution for those individuals who feel comfortable handling most aspects of a case, except for the more technical areas, such as appearing in court or conducting a hearing. By offering unbundled legal services, it empowers the client to choose what portions of the case the attorney will handle and what portions the client will handle.
Many clients like the idea of limited scope representation because it minimizes the surprise element of not knowing how much the entire divorce process will cost. For those individuals who want to do some or most of the legal work on their own case, they now have the ability to hire an attorney for only the crucial aspects of their case. Services provided by the attorney may include the dispensing of advice and counsel as to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, in general, issuing or answering Discovery requests, preparing and filing legal documents, attending court, conducting hearings, performing legal research and conducting depositions or they may include all services relative to a particular subject matter, like maintenance or child support.
Changes to Illinois Supreme Court Rules on Limited Scope Representation
Recent changes to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules permit Illinois lawyers to represent litigants on a limited scope basis. These Illinois rule changes were initiated with the hope of further improving access to justice. Illinois joined over twenty other states in permitting attorneys to practice on a limited scope representation basis. As of July 1, 2013, Illinois Supreme Court rules 11, 13 and 137 were amended to clarify the procedures by which an Illinois lawyer may represent a client on only a portion of his or her legal issue.
The amendment to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 requires that the service of all documents be made on both the client and the lawyer while the limited scope representation is in effect. This allows the client to be better informed as to the status of the Court proceedings.
The amended Rule 13 requires an attorney to have a written agreement with the client regarding the terms and conditions of limited scope representation. Most importantly, however, Rule 13 now allows a lawyer to make a special limited appearance in court proceedings and to withdraw from representing a client in court, without Court approval, after completing the services outlined in the written limited scope appearance agreement between lawyer and client. This differs from a full service arrangement where the Court must approve the withdrawal process, even if both the attorney and client desire to terminate their attorney-client relationship. The amendment simplifies the withdrawal process, which saves the client money.
The amendments to Rule 137 allow lawyers to help clients prepare pleadings, motions and other legal documents without making a court appearance on that person’s behalf. This means that attorneys may assist clients with document preparation without having to sign the documents or file a formal Appearance on that person’s behalf. Again, this approach of unbundling legal services benefits the clients by allowing them to better control their legal expenses.
Contact an Illinois Limited Scope Representation Lawyer
Illinois limited scope representation benefits clients who otherwise may not have access to affordable, quality legal assistance. If you have questions about limited scope representation or would like an experienced attorney to help you with an aspect of your legal matter contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. for a free initial consultation. Call (877) 889-4515 or fill out the online contact form today.