Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Limited scope services (a/k/a “unbundled services”) are an alternative to traditional full-representation. Instead of handling every aspect of a case or service, with limited scope services, you pay them only to do specific tasks. The goal is to reduce your overall legal expenses by only paying for what you need. Typically, lawyers and law firms offer limited scope services on a flat fee basis. Although some may offer more flexible mixed fee agreements. By keeping your legal expenses to a minimum, limited scope services might make hiring a lawyer more affordable.
How it Works
You first need to make an appointment for a consultation with a lawyer that offers limited scope services. Not all lawyers or law firms do, and many do not advertise it. Some may bring it up during your consultation, but if you're looking specifically for limited scope services, then you should ask when you make your appointment. At your consultation, you and a lawyer will talk about your situation, legal issue, and goals. Your lawyer will then discuss whether limited scope service are appropriate. If so, you will next discuss their agreed responsibilities and any limitations. It's common for lawyers to provide a written list that designates respective tasks. Below is an example of some tasks that need completing.
Correspond with an opposing party, witnesses, experts, and the court;
Prepare witnesses to testify at depositions or at court;
Monitor the status of the case or legal matter;
Manage deadlines, court dates, and other events;
Draft, review, file, prepare, and mail court documents;
Perform legal research;
Negotiate settlement agreements;
Prepare exhibits; and
Attend court hearings;
It might help you to circle or initial your name next to your tasks to ensure you remember. Different types of cases or services might have different tasks listed.
Although lawyers might offer limited scope services for your situation, you should be mindful of your own ability to handle the tasks you're responsible for completing. Legal proceedings come with many, and sometimes complicated, procedural rules that could harm your case if not performed correctly and on time. For example, eviction proceedings have strict notice requirements and rules about serving tenants. A judge might dismiss your case or reset your hearing date if you miss something. Make sure you clarify your responsibilities with your lawyer and ask questions about anything you don't understand. If you remain uncertain, you should reconsider whether limited scope services are a good choice. You don't want to end up spending more money on a lawyer to fix your mistakes.
Types of Limited Scope Services
Lawyers and law firms often only offer limited scope services in the areas of law where they offer general services. A family law lawyer will not likely have limited scope options for business contracts and vice versa. Further, some areas of law have more options than others. Limited scope services are most commonly offered in family law cases (e.g., divorce and child custody proceedings), small claims and evictions, and business agreements and transactions. Limited scope services may include:
Legal advice about a hearing and presenting evidence, making a motion, collecting a judgment, and negotiating a settlement;
Sending a demand letter;
Conducting discovery or parts of it;
Case planning; and
Reviewing legal documents
At Martuch Law, we offer a robust list of limited scope services for starting a business, business agreements, and transaction agreements. We also have limited scope options for family law proceedings, evictions, collections, and many more. Initial consultations are always free.
Limited scope services can greatly reduce overall legal expenses. Instead of paying a lawyer hourly to handle every aspect of your case, you only pay for what you need. Whether limited scope services are a good fit depends on the person and their legal issues. If you need legal help but worry about affording high fees, you should consider asking a lawyer about their limited scope options. For some, it can be the difference between having a lawyer or going totally without.
Need more help?
Contact us to ask whether we have limited scope services right for you. Get a free, no-obligation consultation. Meet one-on-one with a lawyer to discuss your issue, ask questions, and get information about the law.
1437 S. Boulder Ave., Suite 1200
Tulsa, OK 74119
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