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Scope of Representation

Full Service Representation

In a Full Service Representation relationship, Tavis and Bunyard attorneys become “Attorney of Record” for purposes of your Family Law case. In essence, we are your legal representative. This means that the Court and your spouse’s counsel recognize Tavis and Bunyard as your attorney and all correspondence, pleadings, filings, etc., are sent to Tavis and Bunyard on your behalf. When you are represented in this capacity your spouse’s counsel may not contact you for any reason. Attorneys must communicate with each other directly to discuss the case.

In this relationship, Tavis and Bunyard attorneys prepare and execute a case plan to achieve the goals decided between the attorney and client. The attorney completes all calendaring, filing of papers, meeting of deadlines, and makes any and all required court appearances, most of which the client will also need to attend. In court, the attorney will do the speaking and advocate on the client’s behalf, unless the client is required to give testimony under oath. In this scenario, the attorney meets with the client prior to giving such testimony to prepare the client to be calm, confident, and most importantly, truthful.

When the case resolves or there is otherwise required a termination of the attorney-client relationship, a form must be submitted to the court and served on interested parties memorializing that Tavis and Bunyard is no longer “attorney of record”.

Limited Scope Representation

In a Limited Scope Representation, an attorney may limit the attorney services by agreement with a self represented litigant to consultation on procedures and preparation of pleadings to be filed by the client self represented. A litigant may be either self represented or represented by counsel, but not both at once, unless approved by the court. In order for the attorney to specially appear on behalf of the litigants for a limited purpose, the attorney must comply with all applicable court rules and procedures, including the filing of a Notice of Limited Scope Representation with the Court and service on all interested parties.

As an example, a client may only want to hire an attorney to provide full service on one aspect of their case, like Child Support. The attorney’s written engagement agreement with the client would designate the attorney as “attorney of record” for the Limited Scope of providing full service only for the issue of Child Support. The attorney would not be attorney of record for any custody, visitation, spousal support, property division, or any other issues. The client would remain self represented for those issues and would remain responsible for court appearances, calendaring, filing of papers, meeting at deadlines, and all other responsibilities that counsel of record normally would do.

However, at any time throughout the process, representation can change from Limited Scope to Full Service. This would require a new engagement agreement and the requisite forms being filed with the Court and served on interested parties.

At the end of the Limited Scope Representation, a form must be submitted to court memorializing that the attorney is no longer attorney of record for such limited purpose.

Unbundled Services/Consultation Only

In an Unbundled Services or Consultation Only relationship, the attorney is engaged by individuals representing themselves in litigation to give legal advice about various steps in the case. The attorneys written engagement agreement with the self represented client provides that the attorney will not be the attorney of record in the case, that court appearances, calendaring, filing of papers, meeting at deadlines, and all other responsibilities that counsel of record normally would do, are the client’s responsibility.

The attorney’s engagement is limited to that of a law consultant who will advise the client on matters only as the client requests, and to assist in or draft papers that the client will sign and file. The attorney also may keep track of the case and its deadlines. All documents are prepared with the client appearing as a self-represented party.

The purpose of such agreement is to provide clients with the legal advice necessary to navigate their Family Law case as a self represented party. This is attractive to some clients who desire to keep control of their case or do not have the financial capacity to hire an attorney for a Full Service Representation.

I hired the Tavis firm in the fall of 2010 to handle my divorce and was assigned Shawn Bunyard as my attorney. The firm did help me retain partial custody of my daughter when my ex petitioned for full custody. I would surely continue having Shawn and the Tavis firm represent me.
John B.