update: see our Jan. 1, 2007 posting on Universal Unbundling in California for more information on the benefits of unbundling and the extension of limited representation to all civil cases in California and New Hampshire.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has okayed a pilot project that would make it easier for lawyers and pro se litigants to enter into limited scope (“unbundled”) representation agreements in Probate and Family Court proceedings. [via Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites] As the MA Trial Court Library’s pro se webpage explains:
Beginning November 1, 2006 and continuing for 18 months, attorneys will be permitted to provide limited assistance to pro se litigants in the Hampden [Springfield] and Suffolk [Boston] Probate and Family Courts only. “The Project will permit attorneys to assist a pro se litigant on a limited basis without undertaking a full representation of the client on all issues related to the legal matter for which the attorney is engaged.” Attorneys may limit the scope of their representation, including appearance and drafting documents.
– – Florida: Unbundling Rules (discussed in this ABA Journal article)– – Nevada: Rules of Practice of the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, Rule 5.2.– – As shlep has reported, court self-help centers in Idaho and Nevada compile lists of attorneys willing to take family law matters on a limited-scope basis. If you know of similar lists, let us know.
– update (Nov. 27, 2006): At Legal Profession Blog, Mike Frisch (Georgetown Law’s Ethics Counsel) reports on the state of unbundling in Arizona, saying “Arizona must be included on the survey of states that allows some limited-scope representation and ghost writing of briefs.” Mike also links to a very useful webpage on Unbundling in Alaska. Presented by the Alaska Bar, it defines unbundled services and its benefits, and has a very nice listing of the kinds of “discrete tasks” that a lawyer might do for a “limited representation” client — including over a dozen tasks.
afterthought (Dec. 5, 2006): Things aren’t going so well in New York State. See our posting “All Bundled Up in New York.