When you cannot afford to pay for a lawyer to handle your entire case, limited-scope representation can be a great way for you to have legal help with your case while keeping costs down. By only paying a lawyer to do those parts of your case that you cannot do yourself, you can save you money on legal fees and you can keep greater control of your case than if the lawyer handles the entire case.
Limited-scope representation is when you and a lawyer agree that the lawyer will handle some parts of your case and you will handle others. This is different from more traditional arrangements between lawyers and clients where a lawyer is hired to provide legal services on all aspects of a case, from start to finish. Limited-scope representation is sometimes called “unbundling” or “discrete task representation.”
Here are some examples of limited-scope arrangements:
You can just consult a lawyer and get legal information and advice about your case when you need it.
You can hire the lawyer to represent you on certain issues in your case (like child support or custody) while you do the rest yourself.
You can hire the lawyer to prepare the forms and other court documents but file them yourself and represent yourself at the hearings.
You can hire the lawyer to coach you on how to represent yourself at the court hearings and help you prepare the evidence that you will present in court.
You can hire the lawyer to help you with the more complicated parts of your case, such as discovery and legal research while you do the simpler tasks yourself.
Courts approve of limited-scope representation because they want to encourage people to get as much legal assistance as they need to protect their rights. They know that you will do a better job of following proper court procedures and presenting the important information to them if you have the help of a lawyer during the more complicated parts of a case.
This information comes from and is own by the California Courts “The Judicial Branch of California.”