f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 11, 2004

Six States Address Unbundling In Their Own Ways

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:32 am

An ABA eJournal article takes a look at some of the approaches taken in six states (Florida, California, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado and Maine) to the issue of unbundling. Florida Unbundles in Its Own Way, by Jill Schachner Chanen (01-09-04)  The article notes that “The adoption of amended rules regulating lawyers’ conduct and the rules of civil procedure legitimizes a longstanding practice of many lawyers: assisting clients with discrete projects. The action helps facilitate the offering of unbundled legal services by codifying what a lawyer must do when assisting a client in a finite capacity.”  (Thanks to SelfHelpSupport.org for the pointer.)

An especially important section of the article quotes Prof. Michael Milleman:

Although these six states have acted to sanction unbundled legal services, rule changes are not necessary, says Michael Milleman, a University of Maryland law professor. “The biggest misconception is that [unbundling] is unethical.”   Most states, in fact, are silent on the subject, and many lawyers operate below the radar in offering clients limited services, he says.

Nonetheless, Milleman says the abundance of questions about ethics and how to provide discrete legal services prompted the ABA Litigation Section’s Modest Means Task Force to study those issues and eventually write a book on the subject. The Handbook on Limited Scope Legal Assistance addresses ethical concerns, provides examples of how lawyers can incorporate this type of representation into their practice and offers sample representation agreements.

We have discussed the Unbundling Handbook here


  1. […] Much has been done over the past decade to make unbundling more widely accepted within the bar, but there is still much to do to make sure there are no ethical roadblocks, and to help lawyers overcome the practical issues raised by limited-scope representation — such as providing training, and best practices forms.  (States are taking many different approaches, as ethicalEsq has noted.) Also, the public needs to be better-informed about the existence and potential advantages of unbundling.     The following materials contain useful information relating to the ethics and practice of unbundling:  the American Bar Association’s 155-page Handbook on Limited Scope Representation; the California Bar’s 10-page Ethics Primer on Limited Scope Representation; the comprehensive Unbundled Law Website. […]

    Comment by shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » the unbundled weblogger — September 29, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

  2. […] — Click for the NCSC List of State Laws regarding Unbundling. For more, see UnbundledLaw.org and the f/k/a posting Six States Address Unbundling in Their Own Ways.  For a smile, see Prof. Alan Childress‘ take on Carolyn Elefant’s food preparation metaphor [hat tip: OotJ’s Jim Milles] […]

    Comment by shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » Mass. project allows limited court appearances — October 29, 2006 @ 7:31 pm

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