Have you ever wished that your cable provider would let you pick and choose which channels you want to receive instead of making you pay for dozens of channels you don’t watch? For instance, if your household only watches sports coverage and children’s shows, you could choose the right channels and pay for only what you really want.
Limited scope legal representation gives you the option to receive only the help you need, at a lower cost than full-service representation.
Limited scope representation is a cost-effective, modern alternative to traditional soup-to-nuts lawyer agreement. Limited scope representation (also called “unbundled legal services”) is a great way for people to get only the legal services they need and can afford. Examples of Limited Scope Representation include:
- Case evaluation and consultation
- Legal research
- Drafting of pleadings, briefs or court orders
- Making limited court appearances at scheduled hearings
- Negotiating on your behalf
- Ghostwriting correspondence
- Advisory opinions
Here are some of the ways I can help you with only the legal assistance you need:
- Drafting divorce complaints, pleadings or motions for you to use in court as you represent yourself.
- Show up to court dates to speak for you in court if you fear public speaking.
- Write cease-and-desist or demand letters for you or your small business which you may send on your own letterhead and in your own name.
- Researching a legal topic to help you decide if you have a good case before you proceed.
- Offering a consultation and legal opinion on a problem with a business partner, customer, employer or neighbor.
Pros and Cons
Getting limited scope representation has both benefits and challenges.
Pros of Limited Scope Representation
- You can save money by only paying for the legal assistance you cannot handle on your own.
- You can retain control of your matter if you aren’t ready to give up managing your own case. Once a full-fledged attorney-client relationship is formed, it’s important for you to allow your attorney to guide your case.
- Your legal opponent may underestimate you as a self-represented party. My help behind the scenes could give you the upper hand.
Cons: When Limited Scope Isn’t Right
- The stakes are high. If your matter could have serious, life-altering consequences like jail time or losing parental rights, you should take your need for legal representation very seriously. There are some matters that are too complicated to handle on your own.
- You risk making mistakes that will require you to hire a lawyer to fix down the road, wasting time and money on needless court fees or documents.
- You don’t have sufficient time to represent yourself.
- You aren’t comfortable with reading and interpreting legal documents and managing complex problems on your own.
Tips for Self-Representation
Do your homework
Be as well-prepared as possible. Do all of the research your case requires before you go to court or talk to your legal opponent. Anticipate the questions that the judge or the other party or attorney might ask you. Prepare your answers truthfully and accurately.
“Just the facts, Maam.” When the Judge or opposing party asks you a question, only offer an answer to the question asked. Don’t take your opportunity to speak to tell your entire mindset or express your emotions. You could harm your case by saying too much.
Respect the Court
Dress appropriately, be early and stand up when the bailiff instructs you to. Address the Judge with the utmost respect. Treat everyone else you encounter in court with politeness and respect as well.
Have all of the relevant documents for your case and photo copies for the judge and opposing party. Have your papers organized, and make notes on any important points you don’t want to forget.
Know when to ask for help
Attorneys go to school for a reason: to help people who are not lawyers navigate the legal system. Legal matters are stressful and complicated, even for experienced lawyers. If you feel that you’re in over your head and you need more help, contact an experienced Colorado attorney as soon as possible to get someone knowledgeable on your team.
If you are interested in limited scope representation or unbundled legal services, don’t hesitate to contact us at Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC. We are happy to discuss your legal needs, budget and how we can help.