June 28, 2018

Advice & Counseling

Articles

Barrie Althoff, Ethics and the Law: Ethical Considerations for Lawyers and Judges When Dealing with Unrepresented Persons, Washington State Bar News (Jan. 2000).

Barrie Althoff, Limiting the Scope of Your Representation: Questions of Cost, Candor, and Disclosure, Washington State Bar News (July 1997).

Barrie Althoff, Limiting the Scope of Your Representation: When Your Client Wants, or Can Afford, Only Part of You, Washington State Bar News (June 1997).

Mary C. Ashcroft, Unbundling Legal Services: Delivering What Your Client Wants at a Price She Can Afford, Vermont Bar Journal (Winter 2010).

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

John M. Burman, Ethically Speaking: Dealing with an Opposing Party Who is Proceeding Pro Se, Wyoming Lawyer, Vol. 31, No. 3 (June 2008).

Dennis Carlson, Amendments to Rules Facilitate Unbundling of Legal Services, The Nebraska Lawyer (November/December 2008).

John Del Vecchio, Sharing the Experience, Bench & Bar of Minnesota (September 2010).

David Dodge, Limited Representation and Your Engagement Letter, Arizona Attorney (November 2007).

Edward M. Ginsburg, Commentary: Ways to Make Legal Fees More Affordable for the Public, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (March 9, 2009).

John Greacen, Legal Information vs. Legal Advice: Developments During the Last Five Years, American Judicature Society, Vol. 84, at 198 (Jan./Feb. 2001).

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

Paula L. Hannaford-Agor, Helping the Pro Se Litigant: A Changing Landscape, Court Review, p. 8, (Winter 2003).

Mary Kay Hansen & George D. Lyford, Limited Scope Representation, a Handy Tool for DIY Litigants, The Nebraska Lawyer (November/December 2010).

William Hornsby, Improving the Delivery of Affordable Legal Services Through the Internet: A Blueprint for the Shift to a Digital Paradigm, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (Nov. 1999).

Mark Johnson, Professionally Permissible Piecework , Washington State Bar News, Vol. 63 No. 2, at 9 (February 2009).

Catherine J. Lanctot, Attorney-Client Relationships in Cyberspace: The Perils and the Promise, 49 Duke L J 147 (1999).

Judith Maute and Kade McClure, Making a Difference in Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Bar Journal, Vol. 80, No.1 at 64 (January 2009).

James M. McCauley, Current Ethical and Unauthorized Practice Issues Relating to Endeavors to Assist Pro Se Litigants, Virginia Lawyer, Vol. 51, p. 43 (December 2002).

Timothy J. Pierce, Ethics 2000: Unbundling Legal Services, Wisconsin Lawyer (February 2005).

Kevin Slator, A Look at Limited Scope Legal Assistance, Minnesota Lawyer (December 1, 2008).

Virginia Sudbury, Unbundled in Utah, Utah Bar Journal (November 2008).

Unbundled Services & Assisting the Pro Se Litigant, New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics Committee (May 12, 1999).

Bradley A. Vauter, Unbundling: Filling the Gap, Michigan Bar Journal, Vol. 79, at 1688 (2000).

Lisa Young, Limited Scope Representation: An Experiment in San Diego Housing Court, Unpublished paper (2008).

Books & Reports

An Ethics Primer on Limited Scope Representation, State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (2004).

Assisting the Indiana Judicial System: Solutions to Self-Representation, Indiana Supreme Court Pro Se Advisory Committee (May 2002).

Caught in the Middle: 2003 Report and Recommendations of the North Carolina Bar Association Pro Se Task Force (Dec. 2003).

Challenge to Justice: A Report on Self-Represented Litigants in the New Hampshire Courts, New Hampshire Supreme Court Task Force on Self-Representation (Jan. 2004).

Handbook on Limited Scope Legal Assistance, ABA Section of Litigation (2003).

Recommendations and Report, Minnesota State Bar Association Pro SeImplementation Committee, (Jan. 2002).

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 on "Unbundled" Legal Services, Commission on Providing Access to Legal Services for Middle Income Consumers, New York State Bar Association (Dec. 2002).

Unbundling Legal Services: A Guide to Delivering Legal Service a la Carte, Forrest S. Mosten, American Bar Association (2000).

Cases

Walker v. American Ass’n of Prof. Eye Care Spec., 268 Va. 117, 597 S.E.2d 47 (2004)
Plaintiff engaged an attorney to investigate whether she had a potential case for negligent medical treatment, and placed money in an escrow fund with him. A few months later, the attorney informed plaintiff that he would not represent her in the case. A different law office drafted a motion for judgment. The plaintiff, acting pro se, signed the pleading herself and no attorney signed it. The original attorney arranged for it to be delivered to the clerk of the circuit court with a covering letter asking for the paper to be filed on behalf of the plaintiff. A check for the filing fee, drawn on the attorney's trust account, accompanied the letter and pleading. The attorney used money from the escrow account to retain an expert witness, and then transferred the remaining funds to other counsel who eventually represented the plaintiff. Defendants filed a motion to strike and a motion to quash, and after a hearing the trial court granted the defense motions, finding that the attorney was plaintiff's counsel of record and that the pleading had been improperly signed by the party pro se in violation of Rules 1:4 and 1A:4. The action was dismissed with prejudice, and plaintiff appealed.   The Supreme Court reversed, finding that attorney was not plaintiff’s counsel of record and that the pleading had no been improperly signed by the pro se party.

Future Lawn, Inc v. Steinberg, 2008 Ohio 4127
Attorney was hired by appellant to handle a legal malpractice claim. The attorney was referred by appellant’s general counsel, to act in a in a matter concerning the handling of an environmental report in a real estate transaction several years prior. A settlement was reached in the matter and around the same time, general counsel was replaced. Following a dispute regarding unpaid legal fees, appellants were sued by former general counsel. Appellants responded with a separate suit, alleging counsel had committed malpractice. They implicated the limited representation attorney, suggesting the attorney had an obligation to advise them of issues surrounding claims of general counsel’s malpractice. The court found that representation by attorney was expressly limited to the original malpractice claim, and that no requirement existed for client consultation before limited the scope of representation. The attorney had no duty to investigate actions of general counsel.

Armor v. Lantz, 207 W. VA 672, 535 S.E.2d 737 (2000)
Appellants brought legal malpractice suit against local attorney retained by Ohio lawyer in products liability case. Appellants claimed that West Virginia lawyer who acted as local counsel was liable for malpractice of Ohio lawyer. Court found that, while it was difficult to clearly define the role of local counsel according to West Virginia rules, the local attorney had effectively entered a limited representation agreement and was therefore not responsible for all aspects of the case or for the Ohio lawyer’s conduct.

Jones v. Bresset, 2000 W: 3311607 (47 Pa. D. & C 4th 60)
Defendant was an attorney hired by plaintiff in the midst of plaintiff’s bankruptcy proceedings. The plaintiff had already obtained counsel of record, and hired defendant solely for the purpose of securing an accounting in the bankruptcy proceeding. The defendant alerted plaintiff of limited scope of his representation, advising plaintiff that problems may arise outside the scope of his representation. Plaintiff commenced a legal malpractice suit against his attorney of record stating negligence, and included the defendant in the claim. The court found that since the defendant distinctly limited the scope of his representation and urged the plaintiff to hire separate counsel for other matters, the defendant had no legal duty to investigate or advise plaintiff on existence of malpractice by attorney of record.

Ricotta v. California, 4 F.Supp.2d 961 (S.D. Cal. 1998)
Attorney licensed in the State of California did not violate procedural, substantive, and professional rules of a federal court by lending some assistance to friends, family members, and others with whom she shared specialized knowledge. Attorney performed research and prepared rough drafts of portions of pro se litigant's pleadings in an action against various official defendants, but did not sign the documents. Because attorney did not gather and anonymously present legal arguments with the actual or constructive knowledge that plaintiff would use them in court, and because attorney did not engage in extensive, undisclosed participation that permitted plaintiff to falsely appear as being without professional assistance, attorney had not violated any rules.

Court Rules

Alabama

Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 permits limited scope representation.

Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2 governs the responsibility to put limited scope representation agreements in writing.

Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct 4.2 and 4.3 governs notice requirements to opposing attorneys in limited scope representation contexts.

Alabama Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

North Dakota Rules of Court 11.2 governs the withdrawal of attorneys in limited scope

 

Alabama Rule of Civil Procedure 11 establishes procedures for preparing pleadings in the limited scope representation context.

Alabama Rule of Civil Procedure 87 details the procedures for establishing and completing limited scope representation.

Alaska

Alaska Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c)  expressly permits limited representation and governs communication between opposing counsel and self-represented client.

Alaska Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 81 governs limited appearances and includes:

  • 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 Ethics Rule 1.2 governs limited scope representation.

Arizona Ethics Rule 1.5(b) governs requirements for communicating fees and expenses for lawyers who provide short-term limited legal services to a client pursuant to ER 6.5

Arizona Ethics Rules 4.2 and 4.3 govern notice requirements to opposing attorneys in limited scope representation contexts.

Arizona Ethics Rule 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 5.1(c) permits an attorney to enter a limited appearance by filing and serving a Notice of Limited Scope Representation. It requires an attorney to file a Notice of Withdrawal signed by both the attorney and the client to withdraw representation or, if the client does not consent, a motion to withdraw.

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 or by motion and court order.

Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a) establishes procedures for preparing pleadings in the limited scope representation context.

Arizona Rule of Family Law Procedure 9(B) governs limited appearances and includes:

  • 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.

Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure: Rule 97, Form 1: Notice of Limited Scope Representation

Arkansas

Ark. R. Prof'l Conduct 1.2 governs limited scope representation.

Ark. R. Prof'l Conduct 4.2
 establishes that a person to whom limited scope representation is being provided is considered to be unrepresented unless the opposing lawyer has been provided with a written notice of the limited scope representation.

Ark. R. Prof'l Conduct 4.3 establishes that a person to whom limited scope representation is being provided is considered to be unrepresented unless the opposing lawyer has been provided with a written notice of the limited scope representation.

Arkansas Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5
 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Sample Notices of Limited Scope Representation and Notice of Completion can be found on the Attorney Resource Page.

 

See: May 12, 2016 Order amending Rules of Professional Responsibility to further clarify undbundling rules in Arkansas. 

 

 

California

California Family and Juvenile Rule 5.70 allows a lawyer to draft documents in family law proceedings without disclosing the assistance, as long as the attorney is not making an appearance in the case.

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 outlines the procedure to withdraw both with no objection and with objection from the client.

FL-950  provides a court approved Notice of Limited Scope Representation for family law matters.

California Civil Rule 3.35  defines limited scope representation and application of rules in civil cases.

California Civil Rule 3.36 governs limited scope representation and includes:

  • Rule 3.36(a) allowing a party and attorney to provide notice of their agreement by serving and filing a Notice of Limited Scope Representation;
  • Rule 3.36(b) requiring papers in the case to be served on both the attorney providing 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(c) outlining the procedure to be relieved as counsel on completion of representation, when the attorney has acted appeared before the court as attorney of record and the client has not signed a Substitution of Attorney-Civil form;
  • Rule 3.36(d) requiring an application to be relieved as attorney;
  • 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;
  • Rule 3.36(f) outlining the procedure to be relieved as counsel when there is no objection;
  • Rule 3.36(g) outlining the procedure to be relieved when there is an objection, requiring a hearing to be schedule no later than 25 days from the date the objection is filed, and requiring the clerk to send notice of the hearing to the parties and attorney; 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.

California Civil Rule 3.37 allows a lawyer to draft documents in civil proceedings without disclosing the assistance, as long as the attorney is not making an appearance in the case.

MC-950  provides a court approved Notice of Limited Scope Representation for civil matters.

California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-650 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

California Rule of Court: Judicial Administration Rule 10.960 governs the operation of court self-help centers.

Colorado

Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2  clarifies that a lawyer may ethically provide limited services.

Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2  creates a presumption that a party receiving limited services is unrepresented for purposes of communication.

Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 4.3  creates a presumption that a party receiving limited services is unrepresented for purposes of communication.

Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 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.

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 notice 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 Civil Procedure 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 Appellate Rule 5  allows and clarifies the procedures for limited scope representation in civil appellate proceedings.

Connecticut

Connecticut Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) permits limited scope representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.

Connecticut Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Connecticut Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(b) governs requirements for communicating fees and expenses for lawyers who provide limited scope services to a client.

Connecticut Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16 governs declining or terminating representation and provides commentary on withdrawing after filing a limited appearance.

Connecticut Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 and 4.3 govern communicating with an otherwise unrepresented party for whom a limited appearance has been filed.

Delaware

Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Delaware Family Court Rules of Civil Procedure governing limited scope representation include:

  • Rule 5(b)(2)(A), expressly permitting limited appearances with a written notice of appearance that specifically states the matters in which the attorney will represent the party and requiring copies of all notices given to the client also be given to the attorney; and
  • Rule 5(b)(2)(B), limiting the representation to only those matters identified in the notice of appearance and terminating the representation when the time for appeal has elapsed.

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Superior Court of the District of Columbia Administrative Order 14-10 permits limited scope representation in the Civil, Probate and Tax Divisions, the Family Court, and the Domestic Violence Unit and provides additional guidelines.

Florida

Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-1.2(c)  explicitly permits limited scope representation with written consent.

Comment to Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-1.2 indicates that a lawyer is not required to sign pleadings prepared for pro se litigants; the lawyer must instead include, on each pleading, the statement “Prepared with the Assistance of Counsel.” It also expressly permits limited appearances in family law proceedings.

Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-4.2(b) establishes the presumption that a self-represented party is unrepresented unless notified to the contrary in writing.

Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-4.3(b)  establishes the presumption that a self-represented party is unrepresented unless notified to the contrary in writing.

Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure governing limited scope representation and self-help centers include:

  • Rule 12.040(a) expressly permitting limited appearances with a filed notice, signed by the party;
  • Rule 12.040(b)-(c) allowing an attorney who has entered a limited appearance to terminate without leave of court, so long as the attorney files a notice of completion;
  • Rule 12.040(d) requiring pleadings filed by pro se litigants, and prepared with the assistance of an attorney, to contain a certification that the party received assistance from an attorney;
  • Rule 12.040(e) requiring an attorney who has filed a limited appearance to include specific language on pleadings filed with the court;
  • Rule 12.040(f) governing service in conjunction with limited appearances, and requiring 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; and
  • Rule 12.750 governing the operation of self-help programs within family courts.

Georgia

Georgia Code of Professional Conduct Rule 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Hawaii

Hawaii Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Hawaii Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Comment [4] to Hawaii Revised Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.2  clarifies that a judge may make reasonable accommodations to assure that pro se litigants have the opportunity to have their matters fairly heard.

Idaho

Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b)(5) permits pro bono limited appearances as long as the attorney files and serves a notice of limited appearances prior to or simultaneous with the proceeding; the notice must specifiy all matters that are to be undertaken on behalf of the party. The attorney may withdraw, without the necessity of leave of court, by filing a notice of completion of limited appearance.

Idaho Court Administrative Rule 53 creates a statement of policy to ensure access to the courts by all persons, and governs the operation of court assistance services.

Illinois

Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 requires the service of all documents be made on both the party and the attorney while the limited representation is in effect.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 13 governs limited scope representation and outlines the procedures for disclosing the nature of the representation, filing notice with the court, and withdrawing.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 makes it clear that an attorney may assist a person who is representing him or herself in drafting or reviewing a pleading or other paper without making a general or limited scope appearance and without the attorney signing the pleading or other paper, as otherwise would be required.

Indiana

Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Indiana Rule of Trial Procedure 3.1 permits an attorney to enter a limited appearance by filing a notice of temporary or limited representation that includes a description of the representation. It requires an attorney to file a notice of completion of representation to withdraw representation.

Iowa

Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct governing limited scope representation include:

  • Rule  32:1.2(c)  expressly permitting limited representation and outlining requirements for written consent;
  • Rule 32:4.2 establishing the presumption that a self-represented party is unrepresented unless notified to the contrary in writing;
  • Rule 32:6.5 governing the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs; and
  • Rule 32:7.2 permitting an attorney to advertise that he/she provides limited representation.

Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure enabling unbundled services include:

  • RCP 1.404(3) expressly permitting limited appearances if the limitation is specifically stated in a notice of limited appearance  that is filed or served prior or simultaneously with the proceeding and the lawyer notifies the court before the beginning of a hearing;
  • RCP 1.404(4) allowing an attorney to withdraw from representation without leave of court by filing a notice of completion of limited appearance and serving it on all parties involved;
  • Rule 1.423(1) requiring every pleading or paper that is prepared with the drafting assistance of an attorney to state that fact before the signature line at the end of the document while also requiring the document to contain the attorney’s name, personal identification number – but not the attorney’s signature;
  • Rule 1.423(2) allowing the attorney providing drafting assistance to rely on the pro se party’s representation of the facts;
  • Rule 1.423(3) clarifying that providing identifying information on pleading or paper does not constitute an entry of appearance and does not authorize service on the attorney; and
  • RCP 1.442(2) 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.

Kansas

Kansas Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Kansas Supreme Court Rule 115A governing unbundling includes:

  • Rule 115A(a) establishing that an attorney may limit the scope of representation.
  • Rule 115A(b)(1) establishing that an attorney making a limited appearance must file a notice of limited entry of appearance that states the precise court proceeding and issues to which the limited appearance pertains.
  • Rule 115A(b)(2) clarifying that an attorney may file a notice of limited entry of appearance for one or more court proceedings in a case.
  • Rule 115A(b)(3) establishing the specific requirements for papers filed in a limited appearance.
  • Rule 115A(b)(4) indicating that service must be made on both the attorney and the party for matters within the scope of the limited appearance. Service is not required for matters outside the scope of the limited appearance.
  • Rule 115A(b)(5) articulating two restrictions on limited appearances.
  • Rule 115A(b)(6) specifying that the attorney must file a notice of withdrawal of limited entry of appearance for each court proceeding for which the attorney has filed a notice of limited appearance. The notice must state that the withdrawal is effective unless an objection is filed not later than 14 days after the notice is filed. 
  • Rule 115A(c) allowing an attorney to assist in the preparation of pleadings as long as "prepared with assistance of a Kansas licensed attorney" is inserted at the bottom of the paper. The attorney is not required to sign the paper.

U.S. District Court, District of Kansas Local Rules governing limited scope representation are:

  • Rule 83.5.8(a) establishing that a lawyer may limit the scope of representation in civil cases if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent in writing.
  • Rule 83.5.8(b) requiring compliance with Kansas Supreme Court Rule 115A with two exceptions: (1) that the lawyer use federal forms rather than the Kansas State Court forms; and (2) that Rule 115A(c) does not apply in the District of Kansas instead requiring that any attorney preparing a pleading, motion or other paper for a specific case enter a limited appearance and sign the document.
  • Rule 83.5.8(c) allowing any attorney registered as active to practice before the Court to offer limited scope representation.

Kentucky

Kentucky Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Kentucky Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Louisiana

Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Rule for Louisiana District Court 9.12 governs limited scope representation, including notice requirements and withdrawal procedures.

Maine

Maine Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c)  explicitly allows limited scope representation and allows a lawyer to file a limited appearance if the client consents in writing.

Maine Rule of Professional Conduct Rule 1.16(c)  exempts an attorney from the standard withdrawal procedure and allows for automatic withdrawal of a lawyer upon completion of representation.

Maine Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2(b)  permits opposing counsel to communicate with assisted pro se client unless unbundling attorney notifies opposing attorney of representation.

Maine Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5  governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Attachment A to Maine Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c)  includes a court-approved Limited Representation Agreement.

Maine Rules of Civil Procedure enabling unbundled legal services include:

  • Rule 5(b) indicating that service upon the attorney is not required when an attorney files a limited appearance;
  • Rule 11(b) explicitly permitting limited appearances and requiring an attorney signature on documents filed as part of a limited appearance.
  • Rule 89(a) exempting attorneys who have filed limited appearances from the standard withdrawal procedure.

Maryland

Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs. Maryland RPC 1.2 was recently amended (March 2, 2015) to require that under certain circumstances the scope and limitations of a limited representation by an attorney be set forth in a writing, to add a new Comment [8] pertaining to the scope of a limited representation, and to add a new Comment [9] pertaining to representation of a client in a collaborative law process.

Maryland Rules of Procedure governing limited appearances include:

  • 1-321: On service after entry of a limited appearance;

  • 1-324: On notification when an attorney has entered a limited appearance;
  • 2-131: Permitting the entry of a limited appearance under certain circumstances and adding a form of acknowledgment of the scope of limited representation in circuit court;
  • 2-132: Permitting an attorney who has entered a limited appearance to file a notice of withdrawal under certain circumstances in circuit court;
  • 3-131: Permitting the entry of a limited appearance under certain circumstances and adding a form of acknowledgment of the scope of limited representation in district court; and
  • 3-132: Permitting an attorney who has entered a limited appearance to file a notice of withdrawal under certain circumstances in district court.

 

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

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.

Michigan

Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(b) governs limited scope representation

Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 6.6 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Minnesota

Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Minnesota General Rule of Practice for the District Courts 110  governs the operation of self-help programs.

Mississippi

Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct governing limited scope representation include:

  • Rule 1.2(c) expressly permitting limited scope representation.
  • Comment to Rule 1.2(c) encouraging lawyers to offer limited scope representation; indicating that lawyers may provide counseling, advice, draft letters or pleadings, with or without appearing as counsel of record; and, in litigation, permitting lawyers to attend hearings on discrete matters or specific issues.
  • Rule 6.5 governing the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Missouri

Missouri Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2  expressly permits limited representation with written consent and governs communication between opposing counsel and limited representation client.

Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct 1.16 (c) requires a lawyer to file a notice of termination of limited appearance to withdraw from representation.

Missouri Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5  governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

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.

Missouri Rule of Civil Procedure 55.03 governing unbundling includes:

  • Rule 55.03(a) permitting a lawyer to draft pleadings or motions for self represented litigants without signing the documents;
  • Rule 55.03(b) explicitly allowing limited appearances with a written entry of appearance and allowing an attorney to withdraw, when the matter is completed, by filing a “Termination of Limited Appearance;” and
  • Rule 55.03(c) permitting a lawyer who assists with drafting to rely on the self-represented party’s representation of facts.

Missouri Rule of Civil Procedure 88.09 requires unrepresented parties to complete a litigant awareness program and to use court approved forms.

Montana

Montana Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation and outlines requirements for obtaining informed consent.

Montana Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 establishes the presumption that a self-represented party is unrepresented unless notified to the contrary in writing.

Montana Rule of Professional Conduct 4.3 establishes the presumption that a self-represented party is unrepresented unless notified to the contrary in writing.

Montana Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Montana Rules of Civil Procedure enabling limited scope representation include:

  • Rule 4.1(a) expressly permitting an attorney to provide limited scope representation to a person involved in a court proceeding;
  • Rule 4.1(b) clarifying that providing limited scope representation does not constitute an entry of appearance and does not authorize or require service on the attorney;
  • Rule 4.1(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;
  • Rule 4.2(a) permitting limited appearances as long as a notice of limited appearance that specifically states the limitation is filed and served prior to or simultaneous with the actual appearance;
  • Rule 4.2(b) allowing an attorney to withdraw, without leave of court, by filing a notice of completion of limited appearance; and
  • Rule 11 permitting an attorney to draft a document without signing it and allowing the attorney who assists with drafting to rely on the self-represented party's representation of facts.

Nebraska

Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct enabling unbundled services include:

  • Rule 501.2(b) expressly permitting limited scope representation;

  • Rule 501.2(c) allowing an attorney to prepare court filings for pro se litigants so long as the filings include “Prepared By” with the name, business address and bar number of the attorney. It clarifies that such disclosure does not create an entry of appearance while also requiring the pro se litigant to sign the filing;

  • Rule 501.2(d) allowing an attorney to enter a limited appearance if the client consents in writing; and

  • Rule 501.2(e) establishing a procedure for withdrawal that requires the attorney to file a “Certificate of Completion of Limited Representation;”
  • Rule 504.2[10] allowing opposing counsel to communicate with client on matters outside scope of limited representation; and

  • Rule 506.5 governing the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Nebraska Court Rules of Pleading in Civil Cases governing limited appearance and withdrawal include:

  • Rule 6-1109 (h) allowing lawyers to enter a "Limited Appearance" as long as the client consents in writing, the scope of the representation is clearly defined, and a copy is provided to the client and opposing counsel or opposing party;
  • Rule 6-1109(i) permitting a lawyer to withraw upon completion of the limited representation as long as the attorney files a "Certificate of Completion of Limited Appearance" with the court and provides copies to the client and opposing counsel or opposing party. Court approval is not required and, once filed, the lawyer no longer has an obligation to represent the client; and
  • Rule 6-1111(b) permitting attorneys who do not appear as attorney of record to prepare pleadings, briefs and other documents to be filed with the court as long as the filings include the "Prepared By" along with identifying information, and clarifying that doing so does not create an appearance by the lawyer.

Nevada

Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Rules of Practice of the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada governing unbundling include:

  • Rule 5.28(a) requiring an attorney who offers limited scope representation to include that limitation on the first paragraph of the first paper or pleading filed on behalf of the client and to notify the court at the beginning of a hearing when a limited appearance is made.
  • Rule 5.28(b) permitting an attorney to withdraw from representation by filing a “Notice of Withdrawal of Attorney," with a copy of the limited services retainer agreement between the attorney and client, and serving it on the client and all other parties or their attorneys.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2  governs limited representation and provides a sample consent form.

New Hampshire Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2  creates the presumption that limited representation client is unrepresented for purposes of communication, unless notified otherwise in writing.

New Hampshire Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5  governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in one time consultations with clients through non-profit and court annexed legal programs.

New Hampshire Rule of Civil Procedure enabling unbundled services include:

  • Rule 3, requiring that pleadings and communication be furnished to both client and limited representation attorney until withdrawal of limited appearance; and
  • Rule 17(c), explicitly permitting limited appearances in non-criminal cases so long as the precise scope of the limited representation is stated on a filed notice;
  • Rule 17(f), allowing automatic termination of representation when an attorney files a “withdrawal of limited appearance” and gives notice of the completed representation to all parties; and
  • Rule17(g)  permitting an attorney to prepare documents without signing them so long as the statement “This pleading was prepared with the assistance of a New Hampshire attorney” appears on the document.

New Jersey

New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2 (c) governs limited scope representation.

New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

New Mexico

New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct governing unbundling include:

  • Rule 16-102(c) permitting limited representation with consent;

  • Rule 16-303(E) requiring lawyer to disclose scope of representation to court; and

  • Rule16-605 governing the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

New Mexico Rules of Civil Procedure governing limited appearances include:

  • Rule 1-089(A)(1) permitting limited appearances in district court as long as the attorney files a Limited Entry of Appearance that identifies the nature of the limitation; 
  • Rule 1-089(C) allowing an attorney who has completed the purpose of the representation to withdraw without court order by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal or substitution of counsel;
  • Rule 2-107(C) permitting limited appearance in magistrate courts as long as the attorney files a limited entry of appearance that identifies the nature of the limitation and notes the limitation in the signature block of any paper filed with the court;
  • Rule 2-108(A) allowing an attorney to withdraw without consent from magistrate courts, as long as the representation is completed;
  • Rule 3-107(C) permitting limited appearances in metropolitan courts as long as the attorney files a limited entry of appearance that identifies the nature of the limitation and notes the limitation in the signature block of any paper filed with the court; and
  • Rule 3-108(A) allowing an attorney to withdraw without consent from metropolitan courts, as long as the representation is completed.

New Mexico Supreme Court General Rule 23-113 governs communication between self-represented litigants and court staff, and grants immunity to court staff for any information provided to self-represented litigants.

New York

Local Rules of the United States District Court for Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Civil Rule 7.2  requires counsel to provide pro se litigants with printed copies of decisions cited when unreported or reported only on computerized databases.

New York Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

North Carolina

North Carolina General Statute 50B-2(d)  requires the clerk of superior court in each county to provide pro se litigants with all necessary forms.

North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

North Dakota

North Dakota Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) allows a lawyer to limit the scope of representation if the client consents in writing after a consultation. (Amended June 29, 2016; Effective August 1, 2016)

North Dakota Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

North Dakota Rule of Court 11.2 governs attorney withdrawal when an attorney has filed a notice of limited representation; a "Certificate of Completion of Limited Appearance" is required to withdrawal as opposed to court approval. (Amended June 29, 2016; Effective August 1, 2016)

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

North Dakota Rule of Civil Procedure 11(e) establishes requirements for notice of limited appearances, the preparation of pleadings for an otherwise self-represented party, and withdrawal after a limited apperance. (Amended June 29, 2016; Effective August 1, 2016). Notice upon all parties stating precisely the scope is required; the preparation of pleadings, briefs and other documents does not consitute an appearance; and the filing of a "Certificate of Completion of Limited Appearance" is required to withdrawal as opposed to court approval.

Ohio

Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Oregon

Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(b) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rule 2.010(7) requires a pro se litigant to file a Certificate of Document Preparation, disclosing whether he or she had paid assistance from a lawyer in selecting or completing a pleading.

Form 2.010.7 Certificate of Document Preparation provides a court approved form that is required to accompany any document not bearing the name and bar number of an attorney.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

South Carolina

South Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

South Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Supreme Court of South Carolina Order 2012-08-24-01 approves Self-Represented Litigant Child Support Modification Packets for use in the Family Courts of South Carolina.

South Dakota

South Dakota Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

South Dakota Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Tennessee

Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation, encouraging written consent, and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 5.02 governs the requirements in service and filing of pleadings and other papers in the limited scope representation context.

Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 11.01 requires that an attorney providing limited scope representation file notice with the court at the beginning of the representation and notice of completion upon satisfying the obligations of the representation.

Texas

Texas Rule of Professional Conduct 1.02(b) governs limited scope representation

Utah

Utah Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2 (c)  permits limited representation with consent.

Utah Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 (b ) creates presumption that limited representation client is unrepresented for purposes of communication, unless notified otherwise in writing.

Utah Rule of Professional Conduct 4.3 (b)  creates presumption that limited representation client is unrepresented for purposes of communication, unless notified otherwise in writing.

Utah Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5  governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

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.

Utah Rules of Civil Procedure 74(b) allows an attorney who has entered a limited appearance, and has completed the representation, to withdraw from the case by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal.

Utah Rules of Civil Procedure 75 expressly permits limited appearances with a filed Notice of Limited Appearance, signed by the attorney and party, that specifically describes the purpose and scope of the appearance

Vermont

Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) and 6.5 govern limited scope representation and the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure 79.1
addresses limited appearances and includes:

  • Rule 79.1.(1) explicitly allowing limited appearances;
  • Rule 79.1(2) requiring a written notice of limited appearance that states the purpose and scope of the appearance;
  • Rule 79.1(3) granting leave to withdraw as a matter of course when the purpose for which the appearance was entered has been accomplished; and
  • Rule 79.1(4) requiring service on both the party and the attorney after a limited appearance has been filed.

Vermont Rule of Family Proceedings 15(h) addresses limited appearances and includes:

  • Rule 15(h)(1) explicitly allowing limited appearances in family law matters;
  • Rule 15(h)(2) requiring a written notice of limited appearance that states the purpose and scope of the appearance;
  • Rule 15(h)(3) granting leave to withdraw as a matter of course when the purpose for which the appearance was entered has been accomplished; and
  • Rule 15(h)(4) requiring service on both the party and the attorney after a limited appearance has been filed.

Virginia

Virginia Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(b) governs limited scope representation

Virginia Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Washington

Washington Admission to Practice Rule 28 allows non-lawyers with certain levels of training to provide technical help on simple legal matters.

Washington Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c)  permits limited scope of representation with consent.

Washington Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(f)(2)  permits an attorney to charge a flat fee for specified legal services and to place that fee into the lawyer’s operating account, if there is a written fee agreement containing certain disclosure requirements.

Washington Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2  creates the presumption that a person is unrepresented unless opposing party is notified otherwise.

Washington Rule of Professional Conduct 4.3  creates the presumption that a person is unrepresented unless opposing party is notified otherwise.

Washington Rule of Professional Conduct 6.5 governs the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

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 11  permits a lawyer who assists with drafting to rely on the self-represented party's representation of facts.

Washington Civil Rule of Limited Jurisdiction 11  permits a lawyer who assists with drafting to rely on the self-represented party's representation of facts.

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.

West Virginia

West Virginia Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) governs limited scope representation.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules of Professional Responsibility governing limited scope representation include:

  • 1.2(c) allowing limited scope representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent. The client's informed consent must be in writing, except for as set forth in 1.2(c)(1);
  • 1.2(c)(1) providing exceptions to the rule that a client's informed consent be in writing;
  • 1.2(c)(2) providing presumptions if the client gives informed consent in writing signed by the client;
  • 1.2 (cm) governing ghostwriting, requiring that filings include "this document was prepared with the assistance of a lawyer," and providing that such actions do not constitute an appearance;
  • 3.1 (am) governing meritorious claims and contentions and permitting a lawyer who assists with drafting to rely on the self-represented party’s representation of facts;
  • 4.2(b) creating a presumption that a party receiving limited services is unrepresented for purposes of communication absent notification to the contrary;
  • 4.3(b) creating a presumption that a party receiving limited services is unrepresented for purposes of dealing with unrepresented person absent notification to the contrary; and
  • 6.5 governing the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs.

Wisconsin Statutes governing limited scope representation include:

  • 800.035 (1m) permitting  limited scope representation to a person involved in a municipal court action.
  • 802.045(1) permitting limited scope representation in a court action;
  • 802.045(2) governing notice requirements for limited appearances;
  • 802.045(3) governing service requirements;
  • 802.045(4) governing termination of a limited appearance;
  • 802.045(5) governing forms;
  • 802.05 (2m) governing ghostwriting, providing that the attorney is not required to sign the document, requiring that it must contain the statement "this document was prepared with the assistance of a lawyer" (802.05(2m) for briefs), and permitting a lawyer who assists with drafting to rely on the self-represented party’s representation of facts;
  • 809.19 requiring documents prepared with the assistance of a lawyer to contain a statement saying so; and
  • 809.80 (2)(a) and 801.14 (2m) governing service and filing of pleadings and other papers.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule of Judicial Administration 70.41 provides guidelines for court staff when assisting the public.

Milwaukee County Family Division Rule 5.6  governs unbundling and includes:

  • Rule 5.6(C) expressly permits limited appearances as long as the attorney files a notice of appearance that states the proceedings at which the attorney will be present or function for which the attorney will be responsible.
  • 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.

Wyoming

Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct governing limited scope representation include:

  • Rule 1.1 [4] addressing competence in limited scope representation;

  • Rule 1.2(c) explicitly permitting limited scope representation and outlining the requirements for written consent;

  • Rule 6.5 governing the responsibility to determine conflicts in non-profit and court-annexed limited service programs;

  • Rule 1.2[7] permitting limited appearances with written consent, requiring documents prepared by attorneys to include a statement indicating that the document was prepared with the assistance of counsel, along with the name and address of the attorney, and clarifying that disclosure of assistance does not constitute an entry of appearance;

  • Appendix to Rule 1.2 providing a court approved notice and consent to limited scope representation notice.

The Uniform Rule of the District Court of the State of Wyoming 102 governs limited appearances and includes:

  • Rule 102(a)(1)(B) clarifying that an attorney who has assisted in the preparation of a pleading and whose name appears on the pleading shall not be deemed to have entered an appearance in the matter;
  • Rule 102(a)(1)(C) allowing an attorney to enter a written entry of appearance that is limited, by its terms, to a particular proceeding or matter; and
  • Rule 102(a)(2)(C) allowing an attorney who has entered a limited entry of appearance to withdraw when the attorney has fulfilled the duties of the limited entry of appearance.

Ethics Opinions

Alabama

Alabama State Bar Ass’n Ethics Op. 2010-01
The Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct allow a lawyer to limit the scope of the representation. Ordinarily, a lawyer is not required to disclose drafting assistance to the court.

Alaska

Alaska Bar Ass'n Ethics Op. 93-1 (1993)
A lawyer may ethically limit the scope of representation of a client, but the lawyer should notify the client clearly of the limitation of representation and the potential risks the client is taking by not having full representation. When a lawyer limits the scope of representation, an attorney-client relationship is still created between the lawyer and the client, with all the attendant duties and responsibilities detailed in the Professional Canons.

Arizona

Arizona State Bar Ass’n Op 05-06 (2005)
An attorney representing a client may enter into an agreement limiting the scope of services to a specific and discrete task. An attorney is required to have sufficient knowledge and skill to provide reliable counsel to the limited scope client as to the advisability of the action requested by the client. The attorney providing limited scope representation is not required to disclose to the court or other tribunal that the attorney is providing assistance to a client proceeding in propria persona.

Arizona State Bar Ass'n Op. 91-03 (1991)
A lawyer "may ethically represent a client on a limited basis as long as: 1) the client consents after consultation; 2) the scope of the representation is not so limited as to cause the attorney to violate the Ethical Rules or other law; and 3) the attorney does not advise the client to do something that the attorney would be prohibited from doing personally."

California

Los Angeles Cnty Bar Ass'n Prof. Resp. and Ethics Comm. Ethics Op. 502  (1999)
Attorneys may limit scope of representation of a litigation client to consultation, preparation of pleadings to be filed by client, and participation in negotiations, as long as client consents to the limitation in advance. Attorney must still tell the client about reasonably apparent legal problems even if they fall outside the scope of representation.

Colorado

Colorado Bar Ass'n Ethics Op. 101 (1998)
Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, and particularly Rule 1.2, allow unbundled legal services in both litigation and non-litigation matters. A lawyer who provides limited representation must nonetheless make a sufficient "inquiry into and analysis of the factual and legal elements of the problem" to provide the competent representation required by Rule 1.1.

Connecticut

Connecticut Informal Op. 90-18 (1990)
Legal aid agencies, in lieu of representation, may offer a class on pro se divorce to individuals seeking simple uncontested divorce and, for more complicated matters, provided clients are fully advised of the risks of proceeding pro se.

Delaware

Delaware State Bar Ass'n Comm. On Prof. Ethics Op. 1994-2
A legal services organization may properly limit its involvement in matters to advice and document preparation, but must disclose any significant assistance it provides to an otherwise pro se litigant. If it prepares pleadings or other documents, or provides advice or assistance on an ongoing basis, it should disclose the extent of its involvement.

Illinois



Illinois State Bar Ass’n Prof. Conduct Comm. Op. 94-01
A lawyer aids in the unauthorized practice of law, and may violate rules pertaining to confidentiality, conflicts, and the duty to communicate with and explain matters to a client, by limiting his role in a real estate transaction to the drafting of documents and delegating the gathering and dissemination of information, the resolution of problems arising from such the documents drafted, and other problems which may arise at the closing, to the real estate broker.

Illinois State Bar Ass'n Prof. Conduct Comm. Op. 85-6 (1985; Affirmed 1991)
It is improper for a lawyer to advise a client; prepare pleadings, motions and petitions for client; file documents in court on client's behalf, but then seek a waiver from the client excusing the lawyer's presence in court in a bankruptcy representation.

Kansas

Kansas Ethics Opinion No. 09-01
An attorney may offer limited scope representation.  Any lawyer who prepares a pleading for an otherwise pro se litigant must disclose such assistance, including the phrase “Prepared with Assistance of Counsel” on the pleading. The attorney need not provide identifying information such as name, bar number or address.

Kansas Ethics Op. 92-06 (1992)
A law firm's operation of a 900-number legal advice telephone line is not per se unethical. However, callers are deemed clients and thus entitled to all the protections afforded to them, including competency, confidentiality, and freedom from conflicts of interest. A firm maintaining such a 900 service would have a duty to screen callers to ensure that there were no conflicts of interest and to make sure that there were no competency issues, and could not charge callers for the time spent conducting such screening.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Bar Ass'n Committee on Professional Ethics, Op. 98-1 (1998)
An attorney may provide limited background advice and counseling to pro se litigants. However, providing more extensive services, such as drafting pleadings, i.e., ghostwriting, would usually be misleading to the court and other parties and therefore would be prohibited.

Michigan

State Bar of Michigan Op. RI-348 (2010)
After consultation with the client, a lawyer may ethically limit the scope of representation in the context of Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. The lawyer must provide competent representation to the client in light of the proposed limitations and the proposed limitations may not violate other law.

State Bar of Michigan Op. RI-347 (2010)
An attorney may assist a pro se litigant by giving advice or preparing documents as long as the attorney complies with the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct.  An attorney who assists a pro se litigant is not required to appear in any proceeding and is not required to disclose the assistance to the court or opposing counsel.

State Bar of Michigan Op. RI-301 (1997)
When no confidential information has been divulged and the participant of a pro se self-help clinic has signed an agreement where the legal services agency disavows legal representation, no client-lawyer relationship is established. The legal services agency that provides the clinic is not disqualified from representing a party to litigation when the litigation has been filed by a participant in the clinic.

Mississippi

Mississippi State Bar Op. 176 (1990)
An attorney may participate in a counseling service sponsored by a Chamber of Commerce in which business owners receive free legal counseling on a limited basis. However, the attorney should treat those he or she gives advice to through the service as clients and comply with all applicable rules of ethics.

Missouri

Missouri Bar Ass'n Advisory Op. 940049
It is impermissible for a lawyer to prepare an answer to an unrepresented opposing party in a divorce or marital separation. Doing so would involve giving legal advise.

Montana

Montana State Bar Ass'n Advisory Op. 900409 (1990)
It is unethical for an attorney to sell "do-it-yourself" divorce kits. Kits lead clients to believe that they need no further consultation with a lawyer and present a very real possibility that client will suffer harm as a result of failure of the kit to meet particular needs.

Nebraska

Nebraska State Bar Ass'n Ethics Op. 94-2
Non-lawyers may not, through a 900 number telephone service, provide legal advice to the public. Attorneys encouraging such an enterprise would be in violation of the rule that prohibits a lawyer from aiding a non-lawyer in the practice of law.

Nevada

State Bar of Nevada Formal Ethics Opinion No. 34 (2006, Revised 2009)
A lawyer who provides substantial assistance to a self-represented litigant must disclose such assistance to the court. The lawyer’s identity must be disclosed by signing all papers filed with the court for which the lawyer gave substantial assistance to the pro se litigant, by drafting or otherwise. In non-litigation settings, any attorney that provides substantial assistance to a pro se litigant must disclose such assistance, in writing, to the opposing party.

New Jersey

New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics Op. 713 (2008)
Limited Representation is fully permissible as long it follows the requirements of RPC 1.2 (c). Disclosure of limited assistance is not required if part of a non-profit program designed to provide legal assistance to people of limited means, or if it represents an effort by a lawyer to aid someone who is otherwise unable to afford an attorney. Disclosure of limited assistance is required in other situations such as when used as a tactic to gain advantage in litigation or when a lawyer effectively controls the final form and wording of pleadings and the conduct of litigation.

New Jersey Sup. Ct. Comm. On Attorney Advertising Op. 17 (1994)
Is it not unethical per se for a lawyer to operate a 900-number pay-per-call service giving legal advice. However, the lawyer must comply with the ethics rules and should proceed with great caution.

New Mexico

New Mexico Ethics Advisory Op. 1987-12 (1987)
Where an opposing client is proceeding pro se but has given the attorney no indication that he is relying on the attorney to protect his rights, the attorney has no obligation to call to the court's attention a possible mistake that favors the attorney's client. The attorney is entitled to act as though the opposing client were represented by counsel and accordingly require the opposing client to protect his own rights.

New Mexico Advisory Op. 1987-6 (1987)
A lawyer may participate in a pro bono clinic that provides educational programs to individuals interested in pro se representation, provided the programs do not give specific legal advice to any individual.

New York

Ass’n of the Bar of the City of New York Formal Op. 2009-2 (2009)
Ethics rules permit an attorney to make certain statements to a self-represented individual who is adverse to their own client. The attorney may identify general legal issues that a self-represented person should address and may also discuss undisputed statements or facts of law. In addition, an attorney may advise a self-represented individual to seek counsel and may also refer a self-represented litigant to seek assistance from a court-sponsored self-help program. The attorney may also clarify his or her role, and must volunteer such information if the self-represented person misunderstands the attorney’s role in the matter.

North Carolina

North Carolina State Bar Formal Op. 3 (2008)
A lawyer may assist a pro se litigant by drafting pleadings and giving advice without making an appearance in the proceeding and without disclosing or ensuring the disclosure of his assistance to the court unless required to do so by law or court order.

North Carolina State Bar Formal Op.10 (2005)
Lawyers may provide services over the internet so long as: 1) the lawyer website includes a physical office address; 2) the lawyer provides competent representation, engaging in the same level of communication and taking precautions as does a lawyer in a law office; 3) the lawyer determines jurisdiction of client and runs comprehensive conflicts checks and; 4) the lawyer takes reasonable precautions to protect confidential information transmitted to and from the client. Lawyers providing services over the internet may offer unbundled client services if they obtain client consent, provide competent representation and follow RPC 1.2 ( c ).

North Carolina State Bar Op. 6 (2002)
A lawyer may not represent one party in a divorce and prepare pleadings for the other (pro se) party to sign, regardless of the willingness of the parties.

Oregon

Oregon State Bar Association Formal Opinion No. 2011-183
Limited scope representation is expressly allowed by Oregon RPC 1.2(b) and clarifies that an attorney may limit representation to certain actions or to certain issues. Communication is addressed and attorneys are encouraged to use written engagement letter to minimize risks associated with providing limited scope representation.

South Carolina

South Carolina Bar Ethics Advisory Op. 05-18  
An attorney may limit representation in a real estate closing to certain portions or phases of the transaction without violating the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the clients give informed consent. However, the arrangement presents elevated risks of ethical violations, and attorneys are advised to take additional precautions to avoid violating, in particular, Rules 5.5(a), 1.1, and 1.2(c), or in the alternative should avoid undertaking the representation.

South Carolina Bar Ethics Advisory Op. 90-18  
A lawyer may draft and submit a responsive pleading and waiver of appearance on behalf of an opposing party in a divorce action while representing the interest of his or her own client when he or she determines that the preparation and submission of the pleadings does not constitute representation.

Tennessee

Bd. of Prof. Resp. of the Sup. Ct. of Tenn. Op. 93-F-130 (1993)
An attorney may represent a client solely for the purpose of reviewing and advising on a mediated agreement for divorce when no complaint has yet been filed or when the opposing party has filed for divorce.

Utah

Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Op. Comm. Op. 02-10 (2002)
It is permissible for an attorney to review the contents of a divorce agreement resulting from mediation on behalf of one party and inform that party about the options and advisability of the agreement. However, it is inappropriate to for an attorney to limit his or her services to assisting in the drafting of pleading and failing to advise about the relevant law.

Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Op. Comm. Op. 96-12 (1996)
Is not unethical for attorney to use a 900 number to give legal advice to paying clients. A disclaimer of the attorney-client relationship may be effective, but only if caller has no expectation that such relationship would be created by call. However, if legal advice is sought, if the advice is pertinent to the attorney's profession, and the attorney gives advice for which a fee is charged, the attorney-client relationship has been established and it may not be disclaimed by the attorney giving the advice.

Virginia

Standing Comm. On Legal Ethics, Virginia State Bar Ass'n Legal Ethics Op. 1761 (2002)
Legal aid staff may provide legal forms to pro se litigants, so long as no assistance is provided in the completion of those forms.

Standing Comm. On Legal Ethics, Virginia State Bar Ass'n Legal Ethics Op. 1592 (1994)  
An attorney may limit representation in a real estate closing to certain portions or phases of the transaction without violating the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the clients give informed consent. However, the arrangement presents elevated risks of ethical violations, and attorneys are advised to take additional precautions to avoid violating, in particular, Rules 5.5(a), 1.1, and 1.2(c), or in the alternative should avoid undertaking the representation.

Standing Comm. On Legal Ethics, Virginia State Bar Ass'n Legal Ethics Op. 1127 (1988)
It is ethically permissible for a lawyer to advise and assist a pro se litigant and provide: general legal advice, recommendations for a course of action to follow discovery, legal research, and redrafting of documents prepared by the pro se litigant. A lawyer may prepare discovery requests, pleadings or briefs for signature by the pro se litigant. However, failure to disclose that the attorney provided active or substantial assistance may constitute a misrepresentation to the court.

Washington

Washington State Bar Ass’n Informal Ethics Op. 2169 (2008)
An attorney cannot provide limited scope representation as part of an arrangement with a real estate brokerage. Such an arrangement, where the attorney receives a salary from the brokerage, violates rules that prohibit the splitting of fees and partnership with a non-lawyer in any part of a business to provide legal services. The limited scope representation itself, however, does not violate any rule.

Washington State Bar Ass'n Informal Ethics Op. 1763 (1997)
Unbundled legal services is defined as a party engaging an attorney to take limited measures, such as helping prepare initial pleadings and perform child support calculations, without either the lawyer or the client being obligated to the other for the duration of the proceedings.

Wisconsin

State Bar of Wisconsin Formal Opinion E-97-1
A lawyer may limit the scope of representation, after client consultation, to the preparation of deed and transfer return. When the scope of representation is limited in this way, it is the lawyer's responsibility to insure that the client understands and accepts the limited nature of the representation. A lawyer who limits the scope of representation to the drafting of deeds and transfer returns does not solely by that limitation assist a title company in the unauthorized practice of law.