Limited Scope Representation: Limited What?
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Under Limited Scope Representation, an attorney agrees to represent and/or assist a client with part, but not all of their legal matter. Therefore, it could be a way for a party to lower their legal costs. To do this an attorney and a client both must agree that Limited Scope Representation is appropriate for the particular legal matter and/or issue. If the attorney and the client agree, then they will enter into a detailed written agreement (a "Retainer Agreement") that will outline and specify what tasks the attorney will be responsible for and what tasks the client will be responsible for, as well as when the attorney’s representation will end.
Some examples of the types of Limited Scope Representation are: (1) having the attorney draft documents or pleadings for the client (in this instance the attorney must disclose that the document was prepared with the “assistance of counsel” but they do not have to identify themselves); (2) an attorney provides legal advice to an individual on about their legal problem and how they would recommend that they proceed; (3) an attorney files with the court a limited appearance whereby the attorney represents the party for only part of their case (as defined in their agreement); or (4) an attorney provides legal guidance on courtroom procedures, the legal or court process, tips on cross examining a witness, the procedure to introduce evidence, etc. This list is not exhaustive. Every legal issue and circumstance has it's own particular fact pattern that is unique. So it is best to discuss your particular situation with an attorney who offers Limited Scope Representation so that together you can come up with a plan where you and the attorney can work together to address your particular situation.
In Connecticut’s rules of practice and rules of professional conduct for attorneys, attorneys may limit the scope of their representation if such limited representation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent. Informed consent means that someone gives permission to proceed after all of the relevant facts have been disclosed.
If the attorney agrees to provide Limited Scope Representation in a court setting, they will need to file a Limited Appearance Form with the court and all the parties specifying the court event or proceeding for which they are providing this representation. When that court event or proceeding for the Limited Scope Representation is done, the attorney will then notify the court and all of the parties involved that they representation of this client for that particular matter has ended. This is done by filing a Certificate of Completion of Limited Appearance. Once this Certificate has been filed with the court, the attorney’s obligation to continue to represent the client is terminated. There is no need for the attorney to have to file any other motions or to obtain the court’s permission to no longer participate in the court proceedings.
If the attorney and the client agree that the attorney should represent the client in an additional matter in a court setting, then the parties will negotiate and sign a new retainer agreement and the attorney will notify the court and all of the parties involved of the specific event or proceedings for which the attorney’s services are now being retained.
Limited Scope Representation also limits opposing counsel’s scope of directly communicating with the client/party. With this type of representation, the attorney on the other side may communicate directly with the party about matters that are outside the scope of the limited appearance without first consulting with the attorney who is providing the Limited Scope Representation. And opposing counsel must make service of notice of any pleadings that are within the scope of the representation upon the attorney and on the party. Service upon the attorney providing Limited Scope Representation is not required for matters outside the scope of the limited appearance.
Attorney Bulkovitch would be happy to meet with you to discuss your particular legal situation to determine if Limited Scope Representation could be appropriate. You can reach her at 860.295.1600 or through the contact page on this website.
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