When you retain our firm to represent you, an attorney from our office will have the authority to represent you in court proceedings, negotiation and in other related legal matters. Our firm name and contact information will be on your court pleadings. The Court and opposing counsel would contact our office, and not you directly, regarding your case. This is the most traditional relationship we have with our clients and what most people think of when they say they have “hired an attorney”.
Limited scope representation is also known as “unbundling” of legal services. This is an alternative to the traditional full-service model where our office would handle a dissolution or legal separation from start to finish. You can hire our firm to have representation for one hearing, one issue, a settlement conference or negotiations. The scope of the relationship would be set out in the retainer agreement and upon the conclusion of that service, the attorney relationship would conclude. There is still an attorney-client relationship and confidentiality.
As your consulting attorney, we do not have the authority to represent you in court proceedings, negotiation or other related legal matters. Your name will be on your court pleadings as representing yourself or “In Pro Persona”. However, our office will assist you in preparing court pleadings, motions and be there to answer any questions you have about the court procedures. You would appear in Court for any court appearances and you would speak directly to the opposing party and/or opposing counsel regarding your case. There is still an attorney-client relationship and confidentiality. As a consulting client of ours, you will be able to take advantage of our attorney service to file and retrieve documents from the Court since we already have established financial arrangements with them. You can retain our office for legal representation anytime during your case if you need to.
The role of a consulting attorney is to give you independent advice throughout your mediation and to review your final agreement commonly known as the Marital Settlement Agreement or “MSA”. During mediation, you are representing yourself without an attorney present. Your name will be on your court pleadings as representing yourself or “In Pro Persona”. Your mediator is a third party neutral and cannot give either party legal advice. Sometimes the information discussed in mediation can be confusing or overwhelming and having an attorney in your pocket to explain it all can provide the confidence you need to reach resolution in mediation and minimize your legal fees. As your consulting attorney for mediation, the goal is not to criticize or disapprove of your agreement but to support you through the process.