WHAT IS LIMITED ASSISTANCE REPRESENTATION (LAR)?

LAR is when an attorney represents or assists a litigant with part, but not all, of his/her legal matter.  The attorney and litigant enter into a detailed agreement defining what tasks the attorney will be responsible for and what tasks the litigant will be responsible for.

Attorneys can practice LAR by coaching the litigant outside of court on what the law is and what the rules of procedure are without ever filing an appearance or appearing in court to represent the litigant.  An attorney can also draft documents for the litigant to file without filing an appearance or going into court with the litigant, however, the attorney must write on the document that it was prepared with assistance of counsel.  (This is called "ghostwriting.")  An attorney can also appear in court with the litigant for part of the case, for example, only a Pre-Trial Conference.  In this case, the attorney must file a Notice of Limited Appearance in court describing the issue or event the attorney is representing the litigant on.  After the completion of that issue or event, the attorney must file a Notice of Withdrawal of Limited Appearance.  The notices are attached to this memorandum.  The Court does not have to approve withdrawal of a limited appearance.

All lawyers who want to provide Limited Assistance Representation must be "qualified" LAR attorneys.  There at several hundred lawyers currently qualified to provide LAR.  An attorney is "qualified" if he or she completes an information (training) session on LAR approved by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court Department in which the attorney seeks to represent a client on a limited basis.