Unbundled Legal Services

In the “limited representation” or “unbundled legal assistance” model of conflict resolution, the client acts as his or her own case manager and takes primary responsibility for the divorce, making use of legal counsel on an “as needed” basis to help in resolving specific issues, talking with witnesses or experts, attending mediation, and drafting documents such as pleadings, child support worksheets, and financial affidavits. The lawyer can also negotiate issues with the other party or lawyer as well as advise the client when needed.

Rule 11 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure states:

An attorney may undertake to provide limited legal representation to a pro se (unrepresented) party involved in a court proceeding. Pleadings or papers filed by the pro se party that were prepared with the drafting assistance of the attorney shall include the attorney’s name, address, telephone and registration number.

The retainer for limited or unbundled legal representation is usually smaller than the retainer for conventional representation as the attorney does not go to Court and therefore is not serving at the discretion of the Court but at the discretion of the client. This can work well for simple cases or for cases where the client is capable of representing him or herself but needs some legal guidance. The client may only need an hour or two of legal service, but sometimes much more.