If you are considering hiring an attorney to assist you in your family law case, you may not be aware that you have options when it comes to the type of legal services you can obtain.
Traditional Legal Services
Traditionally, when a client hires an attorney, he pays a retainer to the attorney and the attorney is responsible for assisting the client through all aspects of the case, including attending mediation and court with the client. In this traditional legal representation, the attorney also prepares and files all documents with the court on behalf of the client and assists the client through the case from beginning to end.
While traditional legal representation certainly has its advantages, there may be times when clients either do not need that level of service or their budgets do not allow for the costs associated with traditional legal representation. Luckily, there is an alternative option for those clients who need some legal assistance, but do not want to retain an attorney for traditional legal representation.
Unbundled Legal Services: An Alternative Option
The Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure allow attorneys to provide unbundled legal services, also known as limited representation services, to clients. The best way to think of unbundled legal services is as an opportunity to consult with an attorney on an as-needed basis.
For example, a client may retain an attorney for unbundled legal services so that he can ask the attorney questions about the procedure for filing a motion or the court process. The client may also want the attorney to review court pleadings, explain the law, or review potential agreements before the client signs a legally binding document. The attorney does not enter her appearance as the client’s attorney of record with the court, and therefore, the attorney does not attend court hearings, and usually does not attend mediation with the client. Furthermore, the client is responsible for filing his own documents with the court and for complying with all court deadlines and requirements. However, the attorney can assist the client in preparing for his court hearing and offer advice on what the client should expect going into court.
One of the biggest benefits of unbundled legal services is that it offers a client the opportunity to obtain legal advice and gain an understanding of the legal system without having to retain an attorney for traditional legal representation. Another benefit is that it gives the client some control over the costs of litigation because the client can consult with the attorney only as needed.
While unbundled legal services has many advantages, it is not right in every case. Therefore, if you are interested in unbundled legal services, it is important that you consult with your attorney about your needs and goals. Your divorce attorney in Fort Collins or other areas will then be able to advise you whether your case is better suited for unbundled legal services or traditional legal representation.