BMC Standing Order 1.10 (permitting limited representation)
Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan has approved a Standing Order requested by the Boston Municipal Court to introduce Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) for civil matters. Notice of the Standing Order will appear in Lawyers Weekly in April and become effective May 3rd.
“Expansion of Limited Assistance Representation into a new court department represents significant progress and it reflects the value of launching a focused Trial Court initiative on access to justice,” said Chief Justice Mulligan. “I commend the Boston Municipal Court and I expect that the momentum will continue to grow through ongoing collaboration and coordination between the Access to Justice Commission and the Trial Court Access to Justice Initiative.”
Boston Municipal Court Chief Justice Charles Johnson said, “The Boston Municipal Court Department is pleased to positively respond to the increasing number of self-represented litigants appearing in our various courts. LAR enhances access to justice by providing litigants with the opportunity for selected representation without the burden of excessive expense and by releasing lawyers from obligatory lawyer-client relationships when clients no longer desire or can afford their services.”
In May 2009, based on the success of the LAR pilot project in the Probate and Family Court Department, the Supreme Judicial Court issued an order approving the use of LAR in other court departments. The Probate and Family Court department subsequently introduced LAR across the state.
Limited Assistance Representation is one of the four priority projects identified in the Interim Report on Access to Justice Initiatives in the Trial Court issued in January. LAR permits an attorney, either for payment or pro bono, to assist a litigant on a limited basis without undertaking full representation of the client on all issues and events related to the client case. Protocols and procedures for the use of LAR are established by each court department.