June 28, 2018

Limited Appearances

Articles

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

Anthony P. Capozzi, Responding to the Pro Per Crisis, California Bar Journal (Feb 2004).

Alicia M. Farley, An Important Piece of the Bundle: How Limited Appearances Can Provide an Ethically Sound Way to Increase Access to Justice for Pro Se Litigants, The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Summer 2007).

Joe Forward, Are You Ready? New Limited-Scope Representation Rules Take Effect in 2015, State Bar of Wisconsin Inside Track (November 5, 2014)

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

Hon. Michael B. Hyman, Why judges should embrace limited scope representation, Illinois State Bar Association Bench & Bar (April 2014)

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

Adam W. Lasker, New supreme court rules a boon to limited-scope representation, Illinois Bar Journal (August 2013)

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

Forrest S. Mosten, Unbundled Legal Services Today -- And Predictions for the Future, American BAr Association Family Advocate (Fall 2012)

Kim Prochnau, Slicing the Onion: Rules of Professional Conduct and Court Rules Make It Easier for Private and Non-Profit Legal Practitioners to Provide "Unbundled" Legal Services, Washington State Bar News (Apr. 2003).

Alexander R. Rothrock, Limited Scope and Lawyer Liability: How courts view the lawyer's role in unbundling, American Bar Association Family Advocate (Fall 2012)

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

Books and 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)

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).

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

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

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

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

Report on Limited Scope Legal Assistance with Initial Recommendations, Limited Representation Committee of the California Commission on Access to Justice (Oct. 2001). Appendix

Self Represented Litigants in the Virginia Court System, Supreme Court of Virginia Pro Se Litigation Planning Committee, Enhancing Access to Justice Report (Sept. 2002).

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

Cases

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action Against A.B., a Minnesota Attorney, Panel Case No. 35121 (2014)
An attorney received an admonition for violating Minnesota Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(d), to “engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice,” as a result of failing to appear at a hearing. Because the client instructed the attorney not to attend, pursuant to the terms of a limited-scope representation agreement, the Court reversed the disciplinary panel’s finding.

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.

Johnson v. Board of County Comm'rs, 868 F.Supp. 1226 (D. Colo. 1994)
Former sheriff department workers bring sexual harassment suit against county sheriff in his individual and official capacities. Attorney representing sheriff enters limited appearance on behalf of his official capacity. Court finds that attorney cannot enter limited appearance on behalf of sheriff's official capacity. Attorney representing sheriff must act for the entire person, including individual and official capacities. Entering such limited appearance is not competent and zealous representation as required by ethical rules as it leaves officer undefended on individual capacity claims. Court further finds that ghostwriting of documents for pro se litigants may subject lawyers to contempt of court. Ghostwriting gives litigants unfair advantage in that pro se pleadings are construed liberally and pro se litigants are granted greater latitude in hearings and trials. Ghostwriting also results in evasion of obligations imposed on attorneys by statute, code, and rule, and involves lawyers in litigants' misrepresentation of pro se status in violation of ethical rules.

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.

Sharp v. Sharp, 2006 WL 3088067 (Va.Cir.Court)
Complainant and respondent were co-tenants of real estate property. The respondent appeared pro se during a hearing before the commissioner in chancery, but then hired an attorney who appeared in a limited capacity at several other hearings. On appeal, the court sought to determine whether or not the attorney could appear in a limited capacity and whether the attorney’s appearance qualified him as official "attorney of record". The court found that it was not bound by agreements made between client and attorney and that a court may "require more of an attorney than mere compliance with the ethical constraints of the Rules of Professional Conduct". The court found that the attorney could make a motion to withdraw once he completed the tasks agreed upon, but that the court had ultimate discretion in granting the withdrawal.

Streit v. Covington & Crowe, 82 Cal.App. 4th 441 (2000)
In a lawsuit, plaintiff’s counsel of record requested that another firm make a "special appearance" at a summary judgment motion, appearing on behalf of counsel of record. Plaintiff filed a legal malpractice suit after a summary judgment was entered against her, arguing that the special appearance created an attorney-client relationship. The appellate court found that an attorney making a special appearance represents the client’s interests and has a professional attorney-client relationship with the client. Further, the voluntary appearance created a limited representation status and not a true "special appearance".

Court Rules

Alaska

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 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 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 permits 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 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 permits 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.

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

California Civil Rule 3.36 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.

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 apepars.  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.

Connecticut

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 Family Court Rules of Civil Procedure addressing limited appearances 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

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 Family Law Rules of Procedure governing limited scope representation 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(e) requiring an attorney who has filed a limited appearance to include specific language on pleadings filed with the court.

Comment to Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2, expressly permits limited appearances in family law proceedings.

Idaho

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.

Illinois

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.

Indiana

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 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; 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 Supreme Court Rules:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 115A(b)(3) establishing the specific requirements for papers filed in a limited appearance.
  • 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.
  • 115A(b)(5) articulating two restrictions on limited appearances.
  • 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.

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 Rules of Civil Procedure addressing limited appearances 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 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

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, and requires service on both attorney and client for matters within the scope of the limited appearance.

Missouri

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 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(b) explicitly allows 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.”

Montana

Montana Rules of Civil Procedure enabling limited appearances include:

  • 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.

Nebraska

Nebraska Rule of Professional Conduct 501.2 governing limited scope representation includes:       

  • 501.2(d) allowing an attorney to enter a limited appearance if the client consents in writing; and
  • 501.2(e) establishing a procedure for withdrawal that requires the attorney to file a “Certificate of Completion of Limited Representation.”

Nebraska Court Rules of Pleading in Civil Cases:

  • 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

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.”

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Rules of Civil Procedure enabling unbundled services include:

  • RCP 3, requiring that pleadings and communication be furnished to both client and limited representation attorney until withdrawal of limited appearance;
  • 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; and
  • 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.

New Mexico

New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct 16-303(E), requires lawyer to disclose scope of representation to court.

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.

North Dakota

North Dakota Rule of Court 11.2 governs attorney withdrawal when an attorney has filed a notice of limited representation.

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) requires an attorney who provides limited scope representation to file a notice that states precisely the scope of the representation and also requires an attorney to file a notice of termination upon completion.

Tennessee

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.

Utah

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 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.  

Washington

Washington Civil Rule 4.2, explicitly permits limited appearances as long as the attorney files a limited notice of appearance prior to or simultaneous with the actual appearance.

Washington Civil Rule of Limited Jurisdiction 4.2, explicitly permits limited appearances as long as the attorney files a limited notice of appearance prior to or simultaneous with the actual 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 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.

Wisconsin Statutes:

  • 802.045(2) governing notice requirements for limited appearances;
  • 802.045(3) governing service requirements; and
  • 802.045(4) governing termination of a limited appearance.

Wyoming

Wyoming Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2[7] permits limited appearances with written consent.

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

  • 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

California

Los Angeles Cnty Bar Ass'n Prof. Resp. and Ethics Comm. Ethics Op. 483
An attorney may limit the attorney's services by agreement with a pro per litigant to consultation on procedures and preparation of pleadings to be filed by the client pro per. A litigant may be either self-represented or represented by counsel, but not both at once, unless approved by the court. In order for attorney to specially appear on behalf of the litigant before the court for a limited purpose, the attorney should comply with all applicable court rules and procedures of the particular tribunal.

Delaware

Delaware State Bar Ass’n Op – 2006-1
A lawyer may be required to perform beyond the term of a limited scope representation agreement if the Court requested, or the Client’s circumstance warranted such action. In most circumstances, an agreement to withdraw from representation would not violate any ethics requirement, as long as the lawyer provides adequate advice to Client concerning the scope of representation. In family court, the Court’s permission may be needed to withdraw from simple divorce petitions in certain circumstances.

District of Columbia

D.C. Bar Op. 330 (2005)
Unbundling of legal services is permissible under D.C. Rule 1.2 (c), provided the client is fully informed of the limits on the scope of the representation and these limits do not prevent the provision of competent service. If a party is proceeding pro se, opposing counsel should treat that party as unrepresented unless and until that counsel receives reasonable notice of representation from the party or her lawyer.

Illinois

Illinois State Bar Ass'n Prof. Conduct Comm. Op. 849 (1983; Affirmed 1991)
An attorney may agree in advance with his or her client to limit the scope of the attorney's representation and draft pleadings without appearing or taking any part in any of the proceeding itself, provided that the client gives his or her fully informed consent to such limitation of employment and the attorney takes whatever steps may be necessary to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the client's rights.

Maine

Maine State Bar Ethics Opinion No. 89 (1988)
A lawyer is not required to sign a complaint or enter an appearance as counsel of record when representation is solely limited to preparation of the complaint.

Missouri

Missouri Bar Ass'n Advisory Op. 940161
It is impermissible for a lawyer to draft responsive pleadings to an unrepresented opposing party in a divorce. However, a lawyer may draft an entry of appearance if the lawyer includes a letter indicated that he or she represents the opposing party and that the unrepresented party should obtain counsel.

New York

New York State Bar Ass'n Op. 613 (1990)
A lawyer who does not appear as counsel of record for a pro se litigant may prepare responsive pleadings and demands for financial disclosure, provided the lawyer investigates the matter adequately.

North Carolina

North Carolina State Bar RPC 114 (1991)
Legal services attorneys may provide legal advice and drafting assistance to pro se litigants without appearing as counsel of record. If court approved pleading forms exist, attorneys may make them available to individuals wishing to proceed pro se.

Tennessee

Bd. of Prof. Resp. of the Sup. Ct. of Tenn. Op. 2005-F-151
Attorneys may offer limited representation through a pro se clinic if they obtain client’s consent, preferably in writing. Attorneys may draft proceedings for clients, if the attorney notifies the Court that counsel has assisted a pro se litigant. The phrase "Prepared with Assistance of Counsel" is recommended for inclusion on such pleadings in a prominent manner. Attorneys who draft proceedings need not appear and represent the client.

Utah

Utah State Bar Ethics Advisory Op. Comm. Op. 08-01 (2008)
A lawyer may provide legal assistance to litigants appearing before tribunals pro se and help them prepare written submissions without disclosing or ensuring the disclosure to others of the nature or extent of such assistance. Undertaking to provide limited legal help does not generally alter any other aspect of the attorney’s professional responsibilities to the client.