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Limited Scope Appearances by Attorneys in Arizona Domestic Relation Matters

In Arizona, parties to a domestic relations action have the ability to contract with local lawyers for very specific purposes. For instance, a party to a domestic relations matter in Arizona can contract with a local attorney to make an appearance with the court on their behalf for "limited" issue(s) in lieu of appearing in all matters.

Rule 9 (B), Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, ("ARFLP") permits an attorney to make a "limited" appearance on behalf of a client by filing a "Notice of Limited Scope Representation." In order for such limited scope appearance to be made, the attorney and client must have a written agreement that specifies in particularity the matter or issues with regard to which the attorney will represent the client.

Limited scope representation is generally a good way mechanism for the client to keep their costs down through pendency of their domestic matter. For instance, in limited scope situations with my clients I am generally able to determine "flat" fee arrangements for my clients instead of utilizing a more traditional advanced deposit (retainer) agreement. I find that this often allows my clients to better budget for representation and is much easier than obtaining a large advanced deposit at commencement of my representation.

Of course there is a down side to limited scope representation as both my clients and often must enter into several different fee agreements during pendency of their domestic matter for each limited specific limited appearance or engagement in which we enter.

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