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Colorado and Denver Limited Representation Attorney and Affordable Attorney
A limited representation attorney, also known as a limited scope representation attorney, is an attorney that will provide unbundled legal services.
This means that legal services can be rendered in a piece-meal like manner and on an as needed basis as opposed to the attorney having to enter a full appearance in the case and handle all aspects of a case.
Unbundling legal services in this manner enables legal services to be more affordable, lower cost, more predictable, and hopefully more efficient for the client.
Examples of areas unbundled legal services and limited representation services can be used with include:
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with drafting and filing a complaint to begin a lawsuit
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with drafting and filing an answer to a complaint
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with drafting and filing a motion to dismiss a lawsuit
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with drafting and filing a motion to compel discovery responses
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with taking or defending depositions
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with trials and making appearances in front of a court
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with preparing and defending evidentiary hearings
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with responding to or enforcing eviction cases
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with civil litigation and navigating civil litigation procedures
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with responding to and litigating breach of contract claims
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can help with litigating and defending business litigation cases and with resolving business disputes
• Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys can serve as an affordable attorney resource for obtaining legal advice and legal strategy
The ability to find and use a limited representation attorney to render limited scope services can enable a client to pick and choose when and what scope of legal services the client needs.
If the client is unrepresented in a lawsuit, also known as self-represented or pro se, but wants to litigate the lawsuit herself to save expenses limited scope services allow the client to use an attorney for the pieces of a lawsuit that she needs help with.
The client may me be confused with a motion, may need an overview of the general civil litigation process, or may want to know discovery mechanisms he or she can use to gather information to enforce or defend against a lawsuit. Limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys allow clients to obtain limited scope legal services in this type of particularized manner.
The Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Allow Limited Representation Attorneys and Unbundled Legal Services in Colorado State Courts
In response to calls to make the court process more affordable and more accessible to everyday litigants, in the late 1990’s Colorado began recognizing that enabling attorneys to provide representation in a piece-meal type manner would allow legal services to be more efficiently rendered and allow litigants to utilize affordable attorneys.
The recognition of the necessity of limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services has persisted since the 1990’s and, presently, the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure expressly allow for limited representation appearances and the rendering of unbundling legal services.
Specifically, C.R.C.P. 11(b) and C.R.C.P. 311(b), which are the respective Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure governing limited representation services and unbundled legal services in Colorado district courts and county courts, have similar language and provide:
Limited Representation. An attorney may undertake to provide limited representation in accordance with Colo. RPC 1.2 to a pro se party involved in a court proceeding. Pleadings or papers filed by the pro se party that were prepared with the drafting assistance of the attorney shall include the attorney’s name, address, telephone number and registration number. The attorney shall advise the pro se party that such pleading or other paper must contain this statement. In helping to draft the pleading or paper filed by the pro se party, the attorney certifies that, to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, information and belief, this pleading or paper is (1) well-grounded in fact based upon a reasonable inquiry of the pro se party by the attorney, (2) is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law, and (3) is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. The attorney in providing such drafting assistance may rely on the pro se party’s representation of facts, unless the attorney has reason to believe that such representations are false or materially insufficient, in which instance the attorney shall make an independent reasonable inquiry into the facts. Assistance by an attorney to a pro se party in filling out pre-printed and electronically published forms that are issued through the judicial branch for use in court are not subject to the certification and attorney name disclosure requirements of this Rule [11(b) or 311(b)].
Limited representation of a pro se party under this Rule [11(b) or 311(b)] shall not constitute an entry of appearance by the attorney for purposes of C.R.C.P. 121, section 1-1 or C.R.C.P. [5(b) or 305], and does not authorize or require the service of papers upon the attorney. Representation of the pro se party by the attorney at any proceeding before a judge, magistrate, or other judicial officer on behalf of the pro se party constitutes an entry of an appearance pursuant to C.R.C.P. 121, section 1-1. The attorney’s violation of this Rule [11(b) or 311(b)] may subject the attorney to the sanctions provided in C.R.C.P. [11(a) or 311(a)].
Similarly, C.R.C.P. 121 § 1-1, which is referenced in C.R.C.P. 11 and C.R.C.P. 311, sets local practice standards for attorney appearances in Colorado state courts. It tracks the limited representation language of C.R.C.P. 11 and C.R.C.P. 311 and provides:
Notice of Limited Representation Entry of Appearance and Withdrawal.
In accordance with C.R.C.P. 11(b) and C.R.C.P. Rule 311(b), an attorney may undertake to provide limited representation to a pro se party involved in a court proceeding. Upon the request and with the consent of a pro se party, an attorney may make a limited appearance for the pro se party in one or more specified proceedings, if the attorney files and serves with the court and the other parties and attorneys (if any) a notice of the limited appearance prior to or simultaneous with the proceeding(s) for which the attorney appears. At the conclusion of such proceeding(s), the attorney’s appearance terminates without the necessity of leave of court, upon the attorney filing a notice of completion of limited appearance. Service on an attorney who makes a limited appearance for a party shall be valid only in connection with the specific proceeding(s) for which the attorney appears.
Together these rules lay out the framework and requirements for how limited representation attorneys may render limited scope legal services. The rules allow attorneys to help prepare and file court filings while not technically making an appearance in the case.
Similarly, attorneys may actually appear in court on behalf of a client for court hearings or trials while limiting the scope of their appearance to only that one appearance.
This enables attorneys to render legal services more efficiently by quickly getting in and out of a case and only handling discrete aspects of a case they were retained for.
Limited Representation Attorneys and Unbundled Legal Services Attorneys Can Help Prepare Court Filings and Can Make Limited Scope Court Appearances
With respect to drafting court filings, the rules, discussed above, allow attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys to draft pleadings, motions, and other court filings on behalf of self-represented parties. This is also known as “ghostwriting” court filings.
However, the rules require that where a limited representation attorney or unbundled services attorney has helped draft a filing that is made with the court, that attorney must disclose on the filing that she assisted with its preparation by including her name, address, telephone number, and registration number on the filing.
Importantly, where a limited representation attorney or unbundled legal services attorney is used in this manner to draft or prepare filings, the self-represented party is still in charge of his or her case. That is, the attorney is only helping to prepare that particular filing and is not technically entering an appearance in the case.
Instead, the attorney is merely disclosing that he or she helped in the preparation of that particular filing. The self-represented party is still in charge of his or her case, is still responsible for showing up to any hearings or court appearances, is still responsible for keeping tracking of any deadlines in the case, and is still responsible for responding to any motion or other filings made in the case.
In addition to helping pro se and unrepresented parties prepare court filings, limited representation attorneys and unbundled legal services attorneys may also appear in court on behalf of those parties. However, the appearance is limited in scope to only the subject matter of that hearing.
That is, for limited scope representation at a hearing, the attorney may enter an appearance for that hearing only. As required by the rules, the attorney must file a notice of limited representation in advance of the hearing or at the hearing itself so that there is a court record of the limited scope appearance at the hearing. And, when the hearing is over, the attorney can then withdraw from the case by filing a notice of completion of that limited scope representation.
Importantly, and just as with helping to prepare court filings, once an attorney completes the limited scope appearance and files a notice of completion of the limited appearance, the self-represented party is once again in charge of litigating his or her case. In other words, the attorney’s representation is only for that one limited appearance and anything outside of that limited scope of representation, the pro se party is still in charge of keeping track of and properly litigating the case.
Limited Scope Representation Allows Unrepresented Parties to Access Affordable Attorneys
Finding an affordable attorney near you can be a difficult task. Large law firm attorney rates are frequently in the $400 to $500 per hour range. As a result, hiring a large law firm to handle significant aspects of litigation can run in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Such rates are simply unaffordable to all but large businesses and high net worth clients. Moreover, high attorney fee rates are likely unjustifiable for many legal disputes since those can easily exceed the amount at issue. Thus, finding an affordable attorney becomes an important task for those business and individuals seeking to economically and efficiently deal with legal disputes
Limited scope representation and unbundled legal services allows individuals to find and access affordable attorney services since they can use those affordable attorney services for discrete parts of a case. For example, affordable attorney services can used for such things as:
• Hiring an affordable attorney to draft or respond to a demand letter
• Hiring an affordable attorney to consult or strategize on how to defend against or enforce claims in a lawsuit
• Hiring an affordable attorney to draft or respond to particular motions
• Hiring an affordable attorney to compel discovery responses
• Hiring an affordable civil litigation attorney to assist with discrete stages of civil litigation
• Hiring an affordable attorney to assist with mediation or arbitration
• Hiring an affordable business attorney to deal with business litigation and business disputes
• And, hiring an affordable attorney to research particular legal issues that come up in a lawsuit
The ability to use affordable attorneys in this manner opens up access to legal services in a wide variety of ways. For those that are trying to economically deal with legal issues, it allows them to handle as much of the legal issue as possible while at the same time, when they need direction or guidance from an attorney, they are able to seek out that advice and have an affordable attorney handle that particular discrete legal issue they cannot.
Accordingly, if you are searching for “unbundled legal services near me,” a “limited representation attorney near me,” or an “affordable attorney near me,” limited representation attorneys, limited scope attorney, and unbundled legal services attorneys can help.
© 2021 J.D. Porter, LLC. Denver, Colorado.