A limited scope appearance allows attorneys to serve their clients in specific matters or aspects of the case. Generally, this reduces legal fees to clients. The purpose behind a limited scope appearance is to allow the client and the attorney flexibility in which matters they take and the costs incurred.

Illinois Supreme Court rules 11, 13 and 137 were amended in July 2013 to clarify the procedures by which an Illinois lawyer may represent a client on only a portion of his or her legal issue.

The amendment to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 requires that the service of all documents, including pleadings and discovery, be made on both the client and the lawyer while the limited scope representation is in effect. While Anderson & Boback always copies clients on all documents in their case, some firms do not, and this ensures that the client is always aware of the status of their case.

The amendment to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 13 requires an attorney to have a written agreement with the client regarding the limited scope representation. Rule 13 also allows a lawyer to make a special limited appearance in court proceedings and to withdraw from representing a client in court, without Court approval, after completing the services outlined in the written limited scope appearance agreement between lawyer and client. This differs from a full service arrangement where the Court must approve the withdrawal process, even if both the attorney and client desire to terminate their attorney-client relationship.

The amendments to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 allow lawyers to help clients prepare pleadings, motions and other legal documents without making a court appearance on that person’s behalf. This means that attorneys may assist clients with document preparation without having to sign the documents or file a formal appearance on that person’s behalf.

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