Limited Scope Representation
In some scenarios, people prefer to take on a legal case on their own and represent themselves. While this is advisable for certain issues (like traffic tickets), representing yourself in more complicated legal matters can be extremely difficult. However, in order to accommodate those who wish to take on their own case, limited scope representation exists to provide limited advice. For example, in a civil case, discovery can be a complex process to go through and, as such, you can hire a lawyer to only help you with the discovery and nothing else. Therefore, as the name suggests, a person hires a lawyer to represent them in a limited scope.
What Does Limited Scope Representation Look Like?
Prior to moving forward with limited representation, we highly recommend and encourage you to speak with a lawyer and go over everything in the case. During this meeting, you can determine whether you can represent yourself in the areas not involving the lawyer, ensure you have not missed any salient legal issues, and understand the possible legal ramifications of your actions. If the discussion does, indeed, result in limited representation, then it becomes important to set appropriate parameters. Both you and the lawyer should be aware of what the lawyer’s exact scope is and how the lawyer will aid you in the legal process. While some may only want to receive legal advice when they need it, others may determine exact parameters for the limited representation, such as the preparation of court documents.
Contracts and Fees
A benefit to having limited representation over full representation is the substantially reduced legal fees. Since the lawyer is only doing a limited amount of work or only advising on certain issues, the client ends up paying far less. However, the lower fees are balanced out by the client’s increased time commitment to the case and legal responsibility for self-representation.
If you decide to have limited representation, make sure you have a clear agreement with the lawyer by creating a contract that outlines the scope. You must also file a form with the appropriate court in order to inform the court of the limited representation.