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  • Lea Ann Sterling

Limited Scope Representation


To limit costs for legal services, consumers are turning to limited scope representation. LSR, also known as “unbundling” is the practice of breaking legal representation into distinct tasks as opposed to representing a client from beginning to end of a case. It’s an a la carte approach of buying only the services from a professional that the lay person cannot handle with a do-it-yourself approach.

Certain limited scope services are currently permitted and Sterling Law offers LSR. You may need a consultation to set you off in the right direction or to get an explanation of a document or procedure. You may need an attorney ghostwriter for a document, such as a Judgment of Divorce. We provide these services and other LSR on an hourly basis, often without a deposit or retainer up front.

However, due to current rules of professional conduct and court rules, Michigan attorneys are hesitant to enter an Appearance to represent you at a single court hearing. While you can contract and pay for only limited services, after a court appearance, attorneys may withdraw from continued representation “only on order of the court.” A court is permitted to order that a lawyer continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation, including being fired or not paid by the client. Attorneys are concerned about being required to work beyond the scope of their contract without pay.

Change is afoot. The Michigan Supreme Court is considering clarifications to the rules and further allowing unbundled services, including an actual limited appearance in court. Sterling Law is watching these developments and will be ready to offer limited appearance along with our other full and limited scope services.


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