Illinois rule changes that may increase the availability of counsel for alternative dispute resolution processes take effect in two weeks. After July 1, 2013, it will be easier for lawyers to work with clients on one clearly defined portion of a civil legal matter without taking on other issues or proceedings within the case. Updated forms and procedures streamline representation for clients who wish to retain a lawyer for settlement negotiations only, understanding that the lawyer will not be responsible for taking the case to trial.
For lawyers, unbundling legal services offers advantages beyond the satisfaction of helping clients solve problems efficiently. Providing pro bono or low-cost representation is more feasible when lawyers can commit to handling only one aspect of a case. Lawyers interested in ADR may also find opportunities to strengthen their skills through limited scope representation.