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What are “unbundled legal services”?
In family law cases, attorneys are often requested to perform discrete services on behalf of a client as an alternative to filing a general appearance in court proceedings The attorney-client relationship may be restricted by agreement if the client wants assistance with only certain tasks and not full representation in court.
“Unbundled” services include such things as consultation and advice, pleading preparation, participation in mediation, review of mediated agreements, and limited appearances at court hearings. Some individuals just need help putting their thoughts and requests into writing when they want to file a motion with the court. Some people get nervous about standing before a judge to argue their case. Sometimes, clients just need advice to make sure that they understand the law as it applies to their case.
When an attorney provides unbundled legal services, an agreement must be reached with the client describing the specific legal task(s) to be performed. If the agreement includes attendance at a court hearing, the attorney will file a “limited appearance” that ends his or her involvement after the hearing is over.
With unbundled legal services, a client has the option to obtain legal assistance without the necessity of a long-term commitment to an attorney-client relationship. From an attorney’s perspective, providing unbundled services allows us to help clients where they need it the most.