The term, “limited scope representation,” means that your lawyer will handle some parts of your case, and you will handle others by yourself. Instead of asking your lawyer to handle all aspects of your case, from start to finish, you can ask for help with one or more specific tasks. For example, you might file your own case in court, complete all the relevant paperwork, and ask an attorney to represent you during in-person hearings.
Limited scope representation is sometimes called “unbundling,” or “discrete task representation,” because you get to choose which tasks your attorney handles.
Examples of Limited Scope Arrangements
If you are interested in limited scope representation, discuss your situation with your attorney. You and your lawyer can create a custom arrangement to meet your needs.
Some examples of limited scope arrangements include:
- Someone handles their case themselves but regularly consults an attorney for legal information and advice.
- Someone pays an attorney to review their legal documents before submitting them.
- An attorney guides a couple through mediation.
- Someone hires a lawyer to handle child custody and support in their divorce case but resolves other issues themselves.
- An attorney helps someone prepare to represent themselves.
- A client takes care of simpler tasks, while their attorney handles discovery and legal research.
Many people choose limited scope representation because it is more affordable, and they may only need an attorney for certain tasks or problems. A divorcing couple, for instance, may agree on everything except child custody. Instead of hiring attorneys to handle their entire divorce, they can resolve property division issues by themselves and let lawyers represent them in their child custody disputes.
Is Limited Scope Representation Right for Me?
Only you and your lawyer can decide whether limited scope representation is right for you. If you are considering limited scope representation, be sure to talk to your attorney about your entire case and be as thorough as possible.
You and your lawyer will decide which parts of the case they will handle and which parts you will handle. If you ask your lawyer not to handle something, you are taking full responsibility for this part of your case. Make sure you have the time you need to educate yourself and complete your tasks.
Your attorney will not advise you to handle something that might be too complicated for you, so you must trust your lawyer and listen to their advice. Remember that your lawyer has education and experience in their field of law – and that they only want what’s best for you.
To protect themselves, your lawyer will ask you to sign a limited scope agreement that releases them from liability for the parts of your case you decide to handle.
If you want more support along the way, be sure to tell your lawyer, revise your limited scope agreement, and update your pay schedule.
Is Limited Scope Representation Better than Representing Myself?
Yes. California courts recommend limited scope representation “because they want to encourage people to get as much legal assistance as they need to protect their rights.” If you have a lawyer, you will do a better job handling your case overall – even if your attorney is only handling the more complicated parts of the case.
Are There Situations in Which Limited Scope Representation Is Not Appropriate?
Yes. In some situations, lawyers are necessary:
- If your case is very technical, complex, or time-sensitive you should seek full representation.
- If you do not have the time or ability to handle case-related tasks effectively, you should seek full representation.
- If the stakes of your case are very high, you should seek full representation.
Many people choose limited scope representation for divorce cases, but full representation is more common in child custody cases. After all, no parent would jeopardize their rights to see their children.
Domestic violence situations may require full representation because it requires immediate attention, and the victim may be unable to safely represent themselves.
Cecil Cianci Law, PC Offers Traditional and Limited Scope Representation
At Cecil Cianci Law, PC, also known as Creative Family Solutions, we offer representation that meets your needs. We can help you and your spouse draft a settlement agreement that the judge will approve of – or walk you through each step of your divorce case.
Our team can be as involved (or hands-off) as you need us to be. We offer transparent representation based on honesty and integrity, so we won’t insist on billing you for more than what’s necessary, but we won’t leave you to handle an impossible situation by yourself, either.
Every case requires a unique approach and personalized strategy, and our goal is to educate you so you can make informed decisions regarding your case.
To find out what kind of representation is best for you and get the legal help you need, please call us at (916) 675-3866 or contact us online.