Managing the Risks of Providing Unbundled Services to Self-Represented Clients
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· Hon. Anne K. Albright, Associate Judge, Montgomery County Circuit Court
· Alvin Frederick, Eccleston & Wolf, Professional Liability and Disciplinary Counsel
· Lydia Lawless, Assistant Bar Counsel, Attorney Grievance Commission
· Omar Melehy, Melehy & Associates; Board Member, Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association
· John Weaver, Weaver Law LLC; former Family Division Magistrate, Montgomery County Circuit Court
· Bruce Avery, Avery & Upton, Family Attorney and Counselor at Law
· Mary Ellen Flynn, Andalman & Flynn, P.C., Debt Collections, Attorneys Fees and Judgment Enforcement Attorney
Effective July 1st, 2015, new Limited Scope Rules approved by the Court of Appeals will apply in the Maryland Circuit and District Courts, offering greater access to justice for self-represented parties who engage lawyers for discrete (unbundled) tasks. The new Rules permit attorneys to file limited appearances for discrete tasks (e.g. discovery or dispositive motions) and to withdraw without leave of court upon completion. Similar rules providing for the unbundling of legal services have been adopted in more than 42 states since California’s 2001 adoption. Yet the challenge for attorneys to determine which clients and matters are suitable for unbundled services, and how to obtain and renew informed consent throughout a representation remains challenging. Panelists from the bench, bar counsel’s office, professional liability counsel and practitioners will offer guidance about mitigating the inherent risks of providing unbundled services. Sample template fee agreements and intake checklists will be provided and discussed.