We are often asked what is the difference between advisory and full representation. Advisory is a narrow scope of representation which sounds just like the name; we give advice only. We don’t file anything with the court but can review what was filed and answer procedural/strategic questions. We do not appear at/attend court hearings but can advise the client on what to expect and the purpose of the hearings/appearances. We do not communicate with Opposing Counsel or Opposing Party but help formulate talking points, potential areas of agreement/dispute and help them understand what questions to ask, what information to share, etc. The representation ends without the need for us to file a Motion to withdraw or Notice to withdraw. It ends when the client’s need/desire for advice ends. We can always bump up from advisory to full representation during the course of the representation if needed.
Full representation is the broadest scope of representation and is all encompassing. We draft and file pleadings with the court on the client’s behalf. We schedule, prepare for and attend court dates and hearings/trials. We draft correspondence and otherwise communicate directly with Opposing Counsel/Opposing Party on the client’s behalf. We formally enter our appearance on the record which means if in the future they no longer want our representation or we withdraw, we are still their attorney of record until the Motion to Withdraw is granted. If the case is completely done, we don’t file a Motion, instead we file a Notice which gets us off the case immediately. If we don’t file the Motion/Notice, that means to the outside world the client continues to be represented by us and another attorney cannot contact them directly concerning that legal matter.
Then, there is limited representation, which means we are hired for very specific task(s) and our representation ends upon the completion of that task (and us filing a Notice of Completion of limited representation). For instance, a client can hire us on the limited basis to file a motion for Temporary Orders or even attend Temporary Orders. The scope of the limitation is based on the task(s).