ABA Passes Unbundling Resolution

The ABA House of Delegates has passed a resolution in support of unbundling.

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourage practitioners, when appropriate, to consider limiting the scope of their representation as a means of increasing access to legal services.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourage and support the efforts of national, state, local and territorial bar associations, the judiciary and court administrations, and CLE providers to take measures to assure that practitioners who limit the scope of their representation do so with full understanding and recognition of their professional obligations.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourage and support the efforts of national, state, local and territorial bar associations, the judiciary and court administrations, and those providing legal services to increase public awareness of the availability of limited scope representation as an option to help meet the legal needs of the public.

This has the potential to be helpful in a number of ways:

  • Encouraging state and local bars to up their game when it comes to supporting unbundling
  • Enabling the ABA to take public positions in support of unbundling
  • Enabling the ABA to submit amicus briefs in cases involving issues relating to unbundling.  This may be particularly important given the recent trend for cases to condemn and penalize so-called “ghost-writing.”

The Report which accompanies the Resolution is a valuable resource for advocacy, including as it does analysis of state rules, a summary of arguments for unbundlng, and a report on the polling data about public perceptions of unbundling.  I particularly hope that it will encourage lawyer referral services to offer and encourage unbundling.

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About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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One Response to ABA Passes Unbundling Resolution

  1. Jim Greiner says:

    An important development, Richard. One might wished that it had happened sooner, but I’m glad the ABA has gone forward now. From the little research I’ve done in this area, it seems as though one key moment a state’s movement toward unbundling comes when state judiciaries realize that in order to induce attorneys to jump into cases on a limited basis, they have to pre-commit to letting attorneys jump back out when the limited service is over. If they don’t, the bar has a ready-made excuse NOT to engage in limited service representation, particlarly in long-running cases such as child custody, for fear that if they do jump in the court will never let them withdraw. Some states have adopted court rules leaving judges with no discretion to allow attorneys to file notices of limited appearances and notices of withdrawals of limited appearances. All states should have such rules.
    Meanwhile, where are the federal courts on all of this?

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