What Is Limited Representation (Unbundled Services)?
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has amended certain rules governing attorney representation and duties in divorce cases. Attorneys are now allowed to enter agreements with clients for limited representation (also known as unbundled services) in certain family law matters.
Prior to the rule change, attorneys could not provide piecemeal services to clients, and were required to either provide full representation or none at all.
We are now allowed to provided limited consultations, prepare documents for clients to file on their own, to review settlement proposals from opposing parties and/or their lawyers, meeting with clients prior to mediation or other court appearances, advise them as to topics to discuss during their mediation sessions, review proposed mediated agreements, etc.
This allows clients to have representation when needed and to allow them to have more control over how and when they utilize the services of an attorney. While I would encourage all individuals to obtain full legal representation when faced with a legal issue, my firm’s ability to also provided limited representation has allowed us to assist more people on an as needed basis.
Pros and Cons of Limited Representation (Unbundled Services)
A single misstep in Court by reacting angrily to emotional statements and allegations, failing to be prepared for attacks by opposing counsel and/or making an innocent error while addressing the Court during a hearing can have devastating effects upon a litigant and their position before the Court for the foreseeable future, which will most likely far exceed the costs associated with retaining competent legal representation.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL CLIENTS ATTEMPTING TO MEDIATE AGREEMENTS WITHOUT REPRESNTATION:
All mediated agreements, i.e. Temporary Decree or Final Decree, Temporary or Final Parenting Decree, Uniform Support Orders or agreements of any kind executed by you and submitted to the Court will become a Court Order. Failure to obtain legal counsel prior to executing same will not make them null and void.
When You Should Speak with an Attorney
Again, prior to executing any documents drafted during mediation, or provided by your spouse or spouse’s attorney, or a state agency such as the Division of Health and Human Services, it is important that you contact an attorney who is experienced in Family Law so that you have a complete understanding of the ramifications of executing any such documents. My firm is experienced and reliable and remains ready and available to assist you with all of your legal needs.