Bar News - April 6, 2007
Open Letter on Unbundled Legal Services: New Clients Need You – A New Concept to Connect
By: Richard B. McNamara
The following is the text of a letter sent March 26, 2007, to all in-state, active members of the New Hampshire Bar with e-mail addresses on file at the NHBA.
As you are probably aware, the N.H. Supreme Court recently approved rule changes which allow for “unbundled” legal services. The unbundled legal services concept allows lawyers to ethically provide limited representation by, for example, drafting a complaint or drafting an answer. Unbundled legal services are another tool which will help those of moderate means to obtain the legal services they need and can afford. The Bar has promoted the rule in order to aid the courts and the public, knowing lawyers add value to individuals bringing issues before the courts, and to the justice system as a whole.
These new court and professional conduct rules can be found at http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orders/20060321.pdf. You can also watch an online NHBA-CLE that will help you learn how to offer limited representation services efficiently and ethically. The seminar, “The New Unbundling Rules (Limited Representation),” is available through NHBA-CLE online under the ethics category. The state courts’ limited appearance form is available at http://www.courts.state.nh.us/forms/nhjb-2294-dfps.pdf and is usable in each of the trial courts. Also necessary is the client consent form at: http://www.nhbar.org/uploads/pdf/ClientConsentFormLimitedRep.pdf.
You can sign up to provide limited scope services through the Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service (full and reduced-fee referrals, and pro bono participation), and the NHBA’s Legal Services Director is working on a pilot project with the Family Division that focuses on linking attorneys with low-income people going through court-ordered mediation.
However, the need for lawyers who are willing to handle cases on an “unbundled” basis is so great that the Supreme Court has requested that lawyers who are willing to handle cases on an unbundled basis notify the Family Division so that information about unbundled legal services can be given to litigants at the initial appearance in the Family Court. If you are willing to provide unbundled legal services, please send your name, your telephone number, your business address and the counties in which you will handle cases on an “unbundled” basis to Honorable Edwin Kelly, Administrative Justice of the District Courts, P.O. Box 389, Concord, NH 03302-0389.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.