Unbundle legal services, ABA House resolution urges
Posted Feb 11, 2013 4:30 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
An ABA House of Delegates resolution encouraging lawyers, when appropriate, to consider providing unbundled legal services was approved on Monday.
Resolution 108 supports unbundled services, also known as limited-scope representation, in which lawyers provide some but not all the work involved in a legal matter. According to a report accompanying the resolution, such representation can increase access to legal services.
“Lawyers who unbundle their services in the marketplace charge their full rate, expand their client base because the cost per case is more affordable, and effectively compete with document preparation services," the report says.
Resolution 108 also encourages the judiciary, bar associations, court administrations and CLE providers to take measures to assure that lawyers who provide unbundled services do so with a full understanding of their professional obligations. The measure also encourages greater public education about the option.
Rule 1.2(c) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct requires lawyers who provide unbundled services to do so only when it is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.