Unbundling Resource Center

Service of Pleadings & Papers

Articles

Kathleen Bird, A Look at Unbundling of Legal Services, Journal of the Missouri Bar (January-February 2007).

Timothy Eaton and David Holtermann, Limited Scope Representation is Here , Chicago Bar Record (April 2010).

Joe Forward, Lawyer a la Carte: Expanded Use of Limited-Scope Representation on the Horizon, State Bar of Wisconsin InsideTrack (August 17, 2011).

Helen W. Gunnarsson, Unbundling Explained, Illinois Bar Journal (October 2010).

William Hornsby, Unbundling and the Lawyer's Duty of Care, American Bar Association Family Advocate (Fall 2012)

Stephanie Kimbro, Unbundling: What Is It? American Bar Association Family Advocate (June 2012)

Nicole Cudiamat Minnis, Improving Access to Justice – “Unbundling” Legal Services in Illinois, The National Law Review (Agust 2013)

Books & Reports


An Analysis of Rules that Enable Lawyers to Serve Self-Represented Litigants, A White Paper, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (August 2014)

Family Law Limited Representation Risk Management Materials , Limited Representation Committee, California Commission on Access to Justice (January 12, 2004).

Phase I: Feasibility Study and Recommendations, Planning and Policy Advisory Committee of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (August 2011).

Pro Se Litigants: The Challenge of the Future , Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department Pro Se Committee Report (Dec. 1999).

Reinventing the Practice of Law: Emerging Models to Enhance Affordable Legal Services, Luz Herrera, Editor, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (2014)

Report and Recommendations of the Supreme Court Task Force on Pro Se & Indigent Litigants, Supreme Court of Ohio (April 2006).

Report of the Joint Iowa Judges Association and Iowa State Bar Association Task Force on Pro Se Litigation (May, 18, 2005).

Report on the Special Committee on Limited Scope Representation , Supreme Court of Missouri and Missouri Bar Association (July 20, 2007).

Report of the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee II , Florida Bar Association (Jul. 26, 2002).

Cases

Melvin Finance, Inc. v. Artis, 157 N.C. App. 716, 2003 WL 21153426 (N.C.App.)
Defendant retained an attorney on a limited basis, following an action filed by the plaintiff to recover costs on a defaulted loan. Limited representation attorney agreed to file responsive pleadings and negotiate a settlement agreement, and filed a notice of limited appearance. While the defendant received notice of a scheduled hearing and forwarded it to his limited representation attorney, neither defendant nor attorney appeared at the hearing and, consequently, an arbitration award was entered for the plaintiff. Defendant filed a motion to set aside judgment, which was denied. On appeal, the defendant claimed the limited representation attorney’s failure to appear at the hearing amounted to excusable neglect and that the judgment should be set aside. The court found that since the defendant received notice of the hearing and had retained the attorney on a limited basis, that the limited representation attorney’s conduct did not constitute excusable neglect. The lower court decision was affirmed.

Court Rules

Alaska

Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 81 governs limited appearances and addresses service including:

  • Rule 81(d) expressly permitting limited appearances in non-criminal cases as long as the attorney files and serves an entry of appearance with the court and all parties of record before or during the initial proceeding and the entry of appearance clearly identifies the limitation; and
  • Rule 81(e)(D) allowing an attorney to withdraw from a limited appearance, without court action or approval, by filing a notice with the court, served on all parties of record, indicating that the representation has ended.

Arizona

Arizona Rule of Family Law Procedure 9(B) governs limited appearances and addresses service including:

  • Rule 9(B)(1) expressly allowing limited appearances by filing a Notice of Limited Scope Representation that states that the client and attorney have a written agreement and that specifies the matter or issues for which the attorney will represent the party; allowing service on an attorney, once a limited appearance has been filed, for all matters without extending the attorney’s responsibility in the case; and clarifying that nothing in the rule limits an attorney from providing limited scope representation without appearing of record in judicial proceedings.
  • Rule 9(B)(2) permitting an attorney to withdraw from completed representation by filing either a Notice of Withdrawal with Consent or by motion and court order, and providing that notice to all parties.

Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2, governs limited appearances in vulnerable adult exploitation actions and includes:

  • Rule 5.2(a) expressly allowing limited appearances by filing a Notice of Limited Scope Representation that states that the client and attorney have a written agreement and that specifies the matter or issues for which the attorney will represent the party; and
  • Rule 5.2(b) allowing service on an attorney, once a limited appearance has been filed, for all matters without extending the attorney’s responsibility in the case and clarifying that nothing in the rule limits an attorney from providing limited scope representation without appearing of record in judicial proceedings; and
  • Rule 5.2(c) permitting an attorney to withdraw from completed representation by filing either a Notice of Withdrawal with Consent and serving it on all parties, or by motion and court order.

California

California Family and Juvenile Rule 5.71, allows an attorney to be relieved as counsel by filing an Application to Be Relieved as Counsel Upon Completion of Limited Scope Representation and serving it on all parties, and outlines the procedure to withdraw when there is an objection from the client.

California Civil Rule 3.36 addresses service and includes:

  • Rule 3.36(b) requiring papers in the case to be served on both the attorney provinding the limited scope representation and the client, until there is a substitution of attorney or an order to be relieved as attorney is filed and served;

  • Rule 3.36(e) requiring an application to be relieved as attorney to be filed with the court and served on all parties in the case, and also requiring the client to be served with a blank Objection to Application to Be Relieved as Attorney on Completion of Limited Scope Representation form; and

  • Rule 3.36(h) requiring the attorney to serve a copy of the signed Application to Be Relieved as Attorney on Completion of Limited Scope Representation form on the client and all parties and attorneys who have appeared in the case, when no objection is filed.

Colorado

Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 121 explicilty permits limited appearances, as long as the attorney files and serves a notice of limited appearance with the court and all other parties prior to or simultaneous with the proceeding(s) for which the attorney appears.  It allows an appearance to terminate without leave of court as long as the attorney files a noitce of completion of limited apearance, and finds that service on the attorney is only valid in connection with the specific proceedings(s) for which the attorney appears.

Colorado Rule of County Court 311(b), requires attorneys to include their name, address, telephone and registration number on prepared documents, but clarifies that doing so does not create an entry of appearance or authorize service on the attorney. It allows the attorney to rely upon the self-represented party’s representation of the facts.

Colorado Rule of County Court 11(b), requires attorneys to include their name, address, telephone and registration number on prepared documents, but clarifies that doing so does not create an entry of appearance or authorize service on the attorney. It allows the attorney to rely upon the self-represented party’s representation of the facts.

Delaware

Delaware Family Court Rule of Civil Procedure5(b)(2)(A), expressly permits limited appearances with a written notice of appearance that specifically states the matters in which the attorney will represent the party and requires that copies of all notices given to the client also be given to the attorney.

Florida

Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.040(f) governs service in conjunction with limited appearances, and requires that all pleadings or other documents and all notices of hearings be served upon both the attorney and the party.  When the attorney receives a notice of a hearing that is outside the scope of the representation, it instructs the attorney to notify the court and opposing party that the attorney will not attend proceeding or hearing.

Iowa

Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure RCP 1.442(2) indicates that service on an attorney who has made a limited appearance shall be considered valid only when the service is in connection with the specific proceedings for which the attorney appeared.

Maine

Maine Rule of Civil Procedure 5(b) indicates that service upon the attorney is not required when an attorney files a limited appearance.

Massachusetts

Supreme Judicial Court Order In Re: Limited Assistance Representation permits limited appearances with a filed Notice of Appearance; allows an attorney to withdraw by filing a Notice of Withdrawal of Limited Appearance; requires service on both attorney and client for matters within the scope of the limited appearance; and allows an attorney to assist in preparing a pleading, motion or other document as long as the phrase “Prepared with the Assistance of Counsel” is included on the document.

Missouri

Missouri Rule of Civil Procedure 43.01(b) requires service on otherwise self-represented person and not on limited appearance attorney unless notified in writing to do otherwise.

Montana

Montana Rules of Civil Procedure addressing service include:

  • Rule 4.2(b) clarifying that providing limited scope representation does not constitute an entry of appearance and does not authorize or require service on the attorney; and
  • Rule 4.2(c) permitting limited appearances as long as a notice of limited appearance is filed and served prior to or simultaneous with the actual appearance and indicating that service on an attorney who has made a limited appearance shall be considered valid only when the service is in connection with the specific proceedings for which the attorney appeared.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Rule of Civil Procedure 3(b) requires pleadings and communication be furnished to both client and limited representation attorney until withdrawal, when an attorney enters a limited appearance.

North Dakota

North Dakota Rule of Civil Procedure 5(b) establishes the requirements for service on an attorney providing limited scope representation.

Utah

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 5(b)(1) , requires that papers relating to a matter within limited scope agreement be served upon attorney and party.

Vermont

Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 79.1(4) requires service on both the party and the attorney after a limited appearance has been filed.

Vermont Rule of Family Proceedings 15(h)(4) requiring service on both the party and the attorney after a limited appearance has been filed.

Washington

Washington Civil Rule 4.2 allows an attorney to provide limited scope representation to a person involved in a court proceeding; clarifies that providing limited scope representation does not create an entry of appearance and does not require service on the attorney; and explicitly permits limited appearances as long as the attorney files a notice of limited appearance prior to or simultaneous with the actual court appearance.

Washington Civil Rule of Limited Jurisdiction 4.2 allows an attorney to provide limited scope representation to a person involved in a court proceeding; clarifies that providing limited scope representation does not create an entry of appearance and does not require service on the attorney; and explicitly permits limited appearances as long as the attorney files a notice of a limited appearance prior to or simultaneous with the actual court appearance.

Washington Civil Rule 70.1, expressly allows limited appearances in litigation as long as the attorney files a notice of limited appearance; requires service on the attorney only in connection with the specific proceedings for which the attorney appears; and allows the attorney’s role to terminate with a notice of completion of limited appearance.

Washington Civil Rule of Limited Jurisdiction 70.1, expressly allows limited appearances in litigation as long as the attorney files a notice of limited appearance; requires service on the attorney only in connection with the specific proceedings for which the attorney appears; and allows the attorney’s role to terminate with a notice of completion of limited appearance.

Wisconsin

Milwaukee County Family Divison Rule 5.6 (D) allows an attorney to withdraw, after making a limited appearance, by submitting a proposed order for withdrawal and serving a copy on the client and all parties.

Ethics Opinions

Check back for ethics opinions related to service.