Inside Track: Supreme court group studies limited scope representation, seeks lawyer input:

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  • Supreme court group studies limited scope representation, seeks lawyer input

    Many lawyers, judges, and members of the public view limited scope representation as one way to increase efficiency and improve outcomes by reducing the number of self-represented parties in the legal system. A subcommittee of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's Planning and Policy Advisory Committee subcommittee is reviewing the current rules, statutes, and practices that impact LSR in Wisconsin and is soliciting input on its work from a variety of interested groups.
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    April 6, 2011 – Limited scope representation (LSR) is one way to close the dramatic justice gap that the State Bar documented in its 2007 report, Bridging the Justice Gap: Wisconsin’s Unmet Legal Needs. Since 2007, SCR 20:1.2(c) has expressly permitted lawyers to limit the scope of their representation of a client “if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.” Lawyers, judges, and members of the public have identified additional ways to improve this method of working with a lawyer, with less uncertainty for all. Many also view LSR as one way to increase efficiency and reduce the number of self-represented parties in the legal system.

    In 2010, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Planning and Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC) established its LSR subcommittee to identify additional statewide efforts to support and expand limited scope representation in Wisconsin. The subcommittee is reviewing the current rules, statutes, and practices that impact LSR in Wisconsin and gathering information about rules, practices, and training used in other states.

    The subcommittee is currently soliciting input on its work from a variety of interested groups. The subcommittee attended the State Bar’s Section Leaders Council meeting in January to report on its work and solicit comments. It also has surveyed judges and court commissioners and survey of attorneys is in the work. Attorneys are invited to submit thoughtful comments and suggestions for additional rule or statutory language that would further support and define LSR.

    Send comments to Attorney gov ann.zimmerman wicourts Ann Zimmerman. The subcommittee’s next meeting is June 2, 2011, and it expects to submit its recommendations to PPAC in August 2011.

    Bayfield County Circuit Court Judge John P. Anderson and Ozaukee County Court Commissioner Darcy E. McManus co-chair the subcommittee. The group also includes Attorney Jeff Brown, State Bar pro bono coordinator; Judge Juan B. Colas, Dane County Circuit Court; Ms. Michelle Cyrulik, policy analyst; Judge Michael J. Dwyer, Milwaukee County Circuit Court; Attorney Rosemary R. Elbert, executive director, Wisconsin Judicare; Clerk of Circuit Court Diane Fremgen, Winnebago County; Mr. Gregg Moore, board president of the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission; Librarian Lisa Winkler, Dane County Legal Resource Center; Attorney Mary K. Wolverton, Milwaukee; and Attorney Ann M. Zimmerman, statewide pro se coordinator.

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