Friday, January 1, 2010

Unbundled Legal Services puts you in control and saves money

Unbundled Legal Services is a somewhat new concept that is gaining more acceptance. Unbundled is essentially an ala carte method of providing legal services. This allows clients to more actively participate in their legal proceedings and often save substantial amounts of money. There is more to unbundling than just saving money however.

Instead of handing over all responsibility to an attorney unbundling allows for clients to only use the necessary services of an attorney. Many pro se litigants are quite capable of doing their paperwork and even presenting a case on their own when seeking a child support payment modification.

These litigants may need an attorney on the day of a child custody determination hearing when there will be multiple witnesses and numerous pieces of documentary evidence presented. Others will need an attorney at every courtroom appearance and to prepare specific motions, called ghostwriting, that require citation to caselaw but can easily handle a motion to continue based upon a previously scheduled outpatient surgery that day.

There is a side-effect to unbundling in child custody cases. Because it almost inevitably results in more contact between spouses in a divorce, it also sets a pattern for both of them built around sitting down and working out the issues between them, rather than relying on someone else to do it for them. Parents working together is nearly always better for the children.

Other services may include appearing with you for a deposition/police interview, establishing legal strategy, providing advice about alternatives to litigation and planning negotiations. Your coach or attorney may also provide other services such as interviewing your potential witnesses, other attorney and expert referrals, role playing to simulate courtroom action and searching public databases for information beneficial or damaging to your case.

As a non-lawyer litigation coach I encourage my clients to use attorneys who offer unbundling as a way of ensuring adequate courtroom presence while also saving money and keeping them involved with the case. I have a few attorneys around central Indiana that I like to work with.

Unlike in full-service representation unbundling requires a strict understanding of what services are provided and who is responsible for initiating contact. Note that when you are represented by an attorney all court mail goes to the attorney. When using an unbundled service you are your attorney and are responsible for knowing and meeting all deadlines.

With adequate coaching and unbundled attorney services you will have a three person team fighting for your interest that will be better prepared, more effective and cost you much less than letting an attorney do it all for you. Best of all you will be in control of your case with the help of your experts.

If you would like assistance in finding an attorney offering unbundled legal services please contact me. You may read more about litigation coaching and unbundled legal services here.

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Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

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©2008, 2010 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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