Unbundled Services

Until recently, the practice of law limited the opportunity for the lawyer to act as a legal consultant to a client.  That is, when a client hired an attorney to represent them on any matter it was that attorney’s legal ethical obligation to handle every legal aspect of that matter on behalf of the client.  The result placed representation by an attorney beyond the means of many of those in need of legal services.  In 2009, this all changed with a newly redrafted Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c), allowing lawyers to limit the scope of representation, so long as such limitations are reasonable under the circumstances and the client has provided informed consent.

What is reasonable under the circumstances, by definition, differs depending upon the complexity of the issue and a good faith evaluation conducted by the attorney of the client’s abilities.  After making a determination that the client can adequately handle the responsibility of managing their matter, the attorney must provide the client with a full and complete explanation of the legal and practical issues, how to adequately address them, and ensure that the client comprehends and understands all of the above.  Only then has the Rule been fulfilled as to informed consent.  Once the attorney has fulfilled his or her obligations, and the client has illustrated that they have informed consent, then the limited scope agreement can be formulated.

Limited scope agreements, sometimes called unbundled services, provide for the attorney to act as a consultant to the client on legal matters.  These agreements can greatly decrease the cost of legal representation, depending upon the competency level of the client.  I have experience advising clients at such a capacity, and welcome the opportunity to do so with future clients.  So, contact me to discuss how I may provide unbundled service to you.