Even with the low rates my office charges, there are many times that a potential client needs help, but just can’t afford to bring an attorney on for an entire case. Often, the potential client is well-aware of what needs to be accomplished, and simply needs the help and advice of a lawyer in a limited way, such as drafting documents, explaining court orders, or obtaining discovery. Recent changes in Illinois law have made this possible, and the Law Office of Timothy M. Murphy has begun offering unbundled services to clients in certain situations.
Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) permits attorneys to limit the scope of the
representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.
Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 clarifies when attorneys may communicate with a person represented by counsel on a limited basis.
Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5 clarifies that attorneys may counsel self-represented
litigants without filing an appearance in the case.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 requires that the opposing party or counsel serve all documents on both the attorney and the party while a limited scope appearance is in effect.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 13 allows an attorney to make a limited scope appearance on behalf of a party in a civil court proceeding pursuant to Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c) when they have entered into a written agreement with the party to provide limited scope representation.
These changes have made it possible to offer unbundled services in a useful, complete and ethical way.
To help provide necessary services to an even wider group, my office is also utilizing a variety of technologies to create a “digital law office.” Through the use of an online client portal and other commonly used software clients can now access the full range of my services from their computer or smart phone. For instance:
Consultations are available not only via telephone, but through all commonly used video chat (Skype, Duo, Facebook call, etc.).
Clients have access to information about their court dates, documents, invoices, and a messaging and document upload system through my client portal.
Documents can be worked on collaboratively through Google Docs, Dropbox or OneDrive, electronically signed through HelloSign, and even electronically notarized.
My office is an e-filer in all Illinois and federal courts.
Invoices can be paid online via PayPal, a credit or debit card, or your bank account, and a payment plan can be requested via the client portal.
It is my hope that this change in offerings will allow more clients to have better access to the legal services they need, at a lower cost. As an incentive, I will soon be collecting email addresses through opt-in on my website, and all who do opt-in will receive a free quick-consult, via telephone or video chat.
Thank you all for following, and I look forward to continuing to serve the community as your digital lawyer.