Monthly Archives: July 2013

Limited scope representation: an issue of access

Judge Anderson

Hon. John P. Anderson

By Judge John P. Anderson, Bayfield County Circuit Court & Attorney Mary K. Wolverton, Chairpersons of Limited Scope Representation Subcommittee of PPAC

Courts and attorneys continue to search for tools and procedures that will address the challenges with an ever increasing self-represented population in the judicial system. Limited scope representation is one such tool that can improve access to justice for some Wisconsin residents who may not wish to retain counsel throughout an entire legal proceeding or who may not have the resources for full representation. The petition that is now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court would make it more likely that lawyers and clients could arrange a workable and affordable agreement for legal representation.

The current Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys have explicitly allowed limited scope representation since 2007. At least 42 states (chart), including Wisconsin have authorized limited scope representation through their attorney ethics rules by adopting the American Bar Association’s Model Rule 1.2(c) or a version substantially similar.Limited scope representation is a relationship between an attorney and a person seeking legal services in which it is agreed that the scope of the legal services will be limited to the defined tasks that the client asks the attorney to perform. In this arrangement, an attorney does not represent the client in a traditional sense or handle an entire matter. The attorney performs specific legal services. These services can take the form of making a single appearance at a hearing, preparing a legal brief, or negotiating a settlement. This form of representation is also called “unbundling” and “discrete task representation.”

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Judicare launches Northern Wisconsin Legal Advice Project

by Beth Richlen On July 1, 2013, Wisconsin Judicare and the Tenth Judicial District Pro Se Committee launched a new online legal advice website called Northern Wisconsin Legal Advice Project ( The website is intended to provide brief legal advice to low-income residents of the 10th Judicial District, which includes Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn,Continue Reading

Building a pro bono culture for law students

By Angela F. Schultz, Marquette University Law School & Ann Zimmerman, University of Wisconsin Law School Both of Wisconsin’s law schools have created a Pro Bono Society to recognize the pro bono legal services provided their students. Each year, students qualifying for membership in these honorary societies are recognized for their achievement at a special event.Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Updating the Judicial Code for the Age of Self-Represented Litigants

A working group convened by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission is examining possible changes to the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct that would provide additional guidance to judges to help address one of the challenges raised by the growth in self-represented litigants. The working group, led by retired Court of Appeals Judge Margaret Vergeront,Continue ReadingContinue Reading

Milwaukee’s new lawyer for a day program

By Mike Gonring, Quarles & Brady For victims of domestic abuse, the justice gap is the Grand Canyon. With their lives in many cases literally on the line, the great majority of victims face a judge or court commissioner without the benefit of a lawyer, with little or no knowledge of the evidence needed toContinue Reading

The return on investing in access to justice

This story in the National Law Journal is just the latest example of how legal services programs and even legal services funding organizations are emphasizing the social “return on investment” that is generated by the work that they do. From the article: Page 14 of Legal Services Corp.’s proposed 2014 budget request to Congress bearsContinue Reading