What is limited representation?
- Sometimes called:
- Limited scope representation
- Unbundled service
- Discreet legal representation
- It is when an attorney helps you with part of your case, but not all of the case.
- You and the attorney talk about all of the parts of your case.
- The attorney helps you with one or more of the parts of the case.
- You do the rest of the parts by yourself.
What are the parts of the case I will talk about with the attorney?
- You and the attorney will look at these parts of the case. You and the attorney will decide what parts of the case the attorney will handle for you.
- Finding information or facts
- Getting information from the other side in your case, banks, agencies or other businesses
- Filling out forms
- Filing papers with the court
- Going to court
- Talking to the other side in your case
- You and the attorney will agree on what part of the case you will handle and what part the attorney will handle.
What kinds of cases can use limited representation?
- Any non-criminal case might be appropriate for limited representation.
How can I choose limited representation?
- Ask the attorney if they offer limited representation.
- Talk about the parts of your case and what you want the attorney to do
- Talk to the attorney about the cost of having the attorney do those parts
- Decide if you can do the other parts by yourself
- Ask the attorney if they will help you more if you decide you cannot do it by yourself
- Talk about how much the attorney will charge for more help
Will the court let me represent myself, or have help with only some parts of my case?
- You may represent yourself, but it may not be the best thing for you in your case.
- Iowa law lets attorneys help with some parts of the case.
- The attorney tells the court that the representation is limited.
- When the attorney is done with their part of your case, they tell the court that part is done.
Why do people choose limited representation?
- If a person has limited income or resources, they can still get some help or advice from an attorney.
- If a person does some of the work, it saves the attorney time.
- Attorneys charge for the time they work on a case.
- If the attorney spends less time on a case, the total fees are less.
- A person has more control of their own case when they do some of the work.
- If the person tries to do some of the work but finds that the case is too difficult, they can ask the attorney to do more or all of the work.
- If the person goes back to the same attorney for more help, the attorney will already know about the case.
Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans.
To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:
- Call 800-532-1275.
- Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161.
- Apply online at iowalegalaid.org
If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website iowabar.org. A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.
*As you read this information, remember this article is not a substitute for legal advice.