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Can an attorney represent me for just one or two hearings and then I finish the rest myself

Dover, MA |

What if If don't have enough money for the whole case, I have 10k on a credit card limit and I heard that most divorces in Norfolk County cost at least 20K, is that true

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    yes, it is called limited attorney representation and just like my well qualified collegue suggested some counties have it in ma. For a while it was a pilot program and now it has been adopted by the SJC. Be careful thought, it makes very little sense to me, to take all your liquid assets and use them at the begning of any action when in my experience of 20 years, most of the hard work is at the end? Don't underestimate or overestimate the costs of good legal work, there are many fabulous attny's who have fair prices. Chat with the attorney who first answered the question, if you are the same party as before, 10k can go along way if handled properly and if the parties don't make a mess of things. Take care and good luck.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  2. Yes, an attorney can represent you for select matters as part of Limited Assistance Representation. I have written more about this on my blog and website if you want additional information: WWW.massachusettsfamilylawresource.blogspot.com.


  3. Yes, that is correct. It is known as Limited Assistance Representation. You can call around and ask some local attorneys if they offer that type of service. There is also the court's LAR web page: http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/probateandfamilycourt/lar.html

    Good luck!


  4. More and more attorneys are willing to support pro se litigants through Limited Assistance Representations (LAR). In these situations the attorney acts like a coach or mentor educating the client and helping the client strategize the case. Then the attorney and client review those aspects of the case that are readily divisible and which are appropriate to either an attorney representation or a pro se representation. For example the client may wish to file the action on his own and serve the opposing side, but have counsel write motions for temporary orders which the client will present in court and negotiate in probation. The attorney may then be called in to write the pretrial memo but not present it to the court. Again, the attorney may assist client in discovery and represent the client at trial.

    Any combination of duties and responsibilities are possible. But there has to be a good relationship between attorney and client, and the client must understand his or her limitations as an advocate before the court. It can work well and it can reduce costs.

    Look for an advocate that offers LAR, and discuss the matter.

    This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.


  5. As the prior attorneys have stated, there is an arrangement called Limited Assistance Representation where the lawyer and the client work together on the case. The arrangement can be crafted to suite your specific needs, such as drafting some pleadings, but maybe not all. Appearing at certain hearings, but not each one. Helping behind the scenes, etc. You can even isolate the issues between the attorney and the client. If there is minimal dispute as to custody or the house for instance, but substantial retirement accounts, the client may want to handle the custody and division of the house, but leave the retirement issue to the attorney. (It is advisable that retirements, stocks, etc. be handled by an attorney as they require a certain level of expertise to understand and finesse.) The establishment of the arrangement is very detailed and there is a checklist of tasks which are assigned to either the attorney or the client so that there is no misunderstanding as to who is responsible for what. Not every lawyer can provide LAR however, there is a requirement that they be certified. Actually, with the exception of the LAR program, providing minimal representation is prohibited by the cannon of ethics. For instance, it is prohibited for an attorney to draft pleadings for a client without filing an appearance. It is known as ghost writing. So make sure you seek out someone who is LAR certified. I am certified to provide LAR and would be happy to discuss this with you.

    This response is for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal advice; nor is this answer intended to create an attorney/client relationship. Legal advice and an attorney/client relationship can only be rendered after a full in person consultation has been conducted with an attorney wherein all necessary facts and circumstances are disclosed. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the within response may be different.

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