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New unbundled legal services rules get mostly positive initial reviews.

Most family law lawyers and judges haven't had any personal experience with new rules that allow the delivery of unbundled legal services in family law cases, but those who have like the rules.

Bar Unlicensed Practice of Law Counsel Lori Holcomb reported to the Bar Board of Governors last month on a special committee that has been reviewing the unbundled rules, which became effective January 1, 2004. Those rules allow lawyers to be hired to handle discrete parts--such as preparing a motion or appearing at a specific hearing--of a family law case, without taking on responsibility for the entire proceeding.

Holcomb said the committee has sent surveys to family lawyers and judges, and advertised for feedback in the Bar News.

"Not that many attorneys are doing unbundled work and many judges haven't seen it, but those who have generally had a positive experience," Holcomb said.

Among items raised, she said, are getting more information about unbundled services to the public, preparing a draft retainer agreement for such work, and determining whether unbundled services can be offered in Department of Revenue child support enforcement actions.

The board voted to approve the report, which will be forwarded to the Supreme Court.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:May 15, 2005
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