Forrest (Woody) Mosten

Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Certified Family Law Specialist

Unbundled Legal Services

Unbundled Legal Services

Unbundled Legal Services: A Family Lawyer’s Guide
By Forrest S. Mosten and Elizabeth Potter Scully

(2017, Paperback or eBook, ISBN: 978-1-63425-921-7)


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This new book’s focus on family law practitioners is particularly appropriate given the unique promise that unbundling holds for family law litigants. In many jurisdictions, self-representation rates are highest in family cases. But, as any family law attorney (or family court litigant) knows, these are the case types that arguably benefit most from attorney involvement. Family issues are among the most sensitive and pressing matters that enter our civil justice system, and the outcomes of these cases can affect entire families for years to come. This important new book provides a crucial step forward in matching individuals with the family law services they need.

Read the Foreward to Unbundled Legal Services

Read Chapter 1 of Unbundled Legal Services

Table of Contents
Unbundled Legal Services: A Family Lawyer’s Guide

By Forrest S. Mosten and Elizabeth Potter Scully

Foreword by Hon. Rebecca Kourlis and Natalie Anne Knowlton
About theAuthors
Prologue: Embracing the Future: Unbundling as an Effective and Profitable
Response to the Pro Se Movement

Chapter 1: Unbundling! What It Is and Why It Works for Clients and Lawyers
What Is Unbundling?
The Full Service Package
The Client Is in Charge
Discrete Lawyering Tasks
Is Unbundling Right for You?
Benefits to Clients
Benefits to Lawyers
Practice Tips

Chapter 2: Unbundling: How It Works
Limited Legal Services
Stage 1: Office Preparation
Stage 2: Clarify Your Approach
Stage 3: Initial Client Intake Conference
Stage 4: Unbundling Assessment
Stage 5: Contracting for Unbundling
Stage 6: Monitoring Limited Services
Stage 7: Converting from Unbundled to Full Service Representation
Stage 8: Evaluation of Client Satisfaction
Practice Tips

Chapter 3: Be a Limited Scope Non-Court Family Lawyer
Learn from the Medical Model
Model 1: Offer Some Limited Scope Services upon Client Request
Model 2: Proactively Offer Limited Scope Options within a Full Service Practice
Model 3: Limited Scope Only Practice (No More Court)
Model 4: Limited Scope Peacemaking Practice
Model 5: Limited Scope Client Education and Advice Only
Model 6: Unbundled Consultant for Other Professionals and Organizations
Practice Tips

Chapter 4: Client Intake and the Initial Client Conference
Agenda for Unbundling Discussion
Initial Conference Topic Checklist
Practice Tips

Chapter 5: Family Lawyer as Limited Scope Dispute Resolution Manager and Limited Scope Relationship Monitor
Legal and Ethical Trends Supporting Discussion of Options to Litigation Prior to Initiating Litigation
Tasks for the Unbundled Dispute Resolution Manager
Manage the Choice of Options
The Unbundled Consultation for Process Information
Monitoring, Modifying, and Terminating the Limited Scope Relationship
Practice Tips

Chapter 6: Family Lawyer asLimited Scope Drafter of Correspondence, Agreements, and Court Forms
Drafting Correspondence
Drafting Agreements and Non-Court Documents
Drafting Court Forms

Chapter 7: Family Lawyer as Limited Scope Negotiation Coach
Educating Clients about Negotiation Theory
Preparing for a Negotiation
Articulating Specific Proposals
Role Playing and Reality Testing
Practice Tips

Chapter 8: Family Lawyer as Limited Scope Litigation Counsel
How Self-Represented Parties Experience Litigation
Rules Governing Limited Scope Court Appearances
A Friendly Word of Caution
Basic Checklist of Tasks to Allocate in the Litigation Context
Fact Gathering and Legal Research
Organizing by Tasks and Substantive Areas
Additional Litigation-Related Ethical Considerations
Practice Tips

Chapter 9: Limited Scope Representative for Clients Participating in Mediation
Continual Reassessment of Scope of Representation
Outside the Mediation Room
Inside the Mediation Room
Practice Tips

Chapter 10: Family Lawyer asCollaborative Attorney
Collaborative Law as an Unbundled Service
Collaborative Law and Informed Consent
Is Collaborative Law Appropriate for Your Client?
Collaborative Law and Mediation
Anticipating Problems and Preventing Termination
Refusing to Litigate Can Grow Your Practice

Chapter 11: Family Lawyer asLimited Scope Preventive Transactional Attorney and Legal Wellness Diagnostician
Be a Legal Wellness Provider
Look for Hidden Problems
Draft and Promote Preventive Dispute Resolution Provisions
Explore Preventive Relationship Agreements
Administer Legal Wellness Checkups
Educate Clients about Resources
Benefit Your Life as Well as Your LawPractice
Practice Tips

Chapter 12: Ethical and Malpractice Minefields of Unbundling: How to Deliver Limited Scope Services without Being Sued or Disciplined
Widespread Acceptance of Unbundling by the Organized Bar, Courts, and Legislatures
Identifying and Avoiding Common Unbundling Pitfalls
Avoid Dual Legal Representation in All Situations
Examples from Texas and Massachusetts
Practice Tips

Chapter 13: Setting Up, Managing, and Marketing Your Unbundling Practice
Reception Area
Client Library
Client Education Materials
Point of Sale Information
Office Design
Food and Drink
Staff Training
Practice Tips

Chapter 14: Providing Limited Scope Services for Specific Family Law Issues: Parenting, Support, and Property Division
Child Support: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Spousal Support: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Restraining Order: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Child Custody and Visitation: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Division of Property: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Pension/Retirement Assets: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Other: Sample Unbundling Lawyer Tasks
Practice Tips

Chapter 15: Involuntary Unbundling: Limited Scope Services for Underserved Populations
Involuntary Unbundling
Perspectives on Delivering Unbundled Legal Services to the Poor
How Mutual Biases May Impact Legal Representation
Tips for Breaking Poverty Barriers to Equal Justice
How Racial Disparities May Impact Provision of Unbundled Legal Services
Our Justice System from an Immigrant Perspective
How Mental Health Issues May Impact Provision of Limited Scope Legal Services
Providing Limited Scope Services Remotely
Practice Tips

Chapter 16: Successful Models for Providing Unbundled Legal Services in Today's Marketplace
Individuals/Small Law Firms That Offer Unbundled Services
Private Firms Offering Stand-Alone Unbundled Services
Nonprofit Organizations Offering Unbundled Services
Court Programs
Bar Association Programs

Chapter 17: Your First Steps toward Offering Unbundled Legal Services
Look to the Future: Your Law Practice in 2040
25 Tips for Starting an Unbundled Peacemaking Practice or Incorporating Unbundling into Your Current Practice
Find Guidance on Building an Unbundling Practice
Prepare to Unbundle
Develop Unbundling Practice Tools
Launching Your Unbundling Practice

Appendix A: Four Sample Client-Attorney Agreements for Limited Scope Services
Appendix B: Notice of Limited Scope Representation (California)
Appendix C: Notice of Termination of Limited Scope Representation (Wisconsin)
Appendix D: Sample Client Handout (Massachusetts)
Appendix E: Personal Legal Wellness Check-Up and Protocol (California)
Appendix F: Letter from Presiding Judge of Family Law Division Endorsing Limited Scope Representation (English and Spanish) (Los Angeles County, California)
Appendix G: Sample PowerPoint: Limited Scope Legal Services (Maryland)
Appendix H: Notice Recommending ADR Options (San Mateo County, California)



© Forrest S. Mosten

Certified Family Law Specialist
Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California