Updated: Mar 18, 2019
If you need to represent yourself in family court for a divorce or child custody or child support matter, consider finding a family law attorney you can consult with to ensure you are following the rules and not missing important ideas for your case. Some attorneys charge their full hourly rate for such consulting services, but Anthony Wright over at The Wright Law Offices in Henderson, Nevada charges $100 per hour, which is less than a third of the standard rate for attorneys at the same level of experience. We offer this service to the community because it is needed by many.
The Eighth Judicial District Rules (EDCR) allow attorneys to consult clients on matters and so to the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct (NRPC). This is because we, as a society, realize people need access to legal services and want to encourage lawyers to provide low cost assistance to those who want or require it.
The Wright Law Offices only provides very brief free consultations usually over the phone for questions that can be answered in a minute or two. Otherwise, we have a reduced fee consultation service f $100 per hour.
EDCR 5.209. Withdrawal of attorney in limited services (“unbundled services”) contract.
(a) An attorney who contracts with a client to limit the scope of representation shall:
(1) State that limitation in the first paragraph of the first paper or pleading filed on behalf of that client; and
(2) Notify the court of that limitation at the beginning of each hearing in which the attorney appears for that client.
(b) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, to withdraw from representation of a client in limited services, an attorney shall:
(1) File a Notice of Withdrawal of Attorney specifying the limited services that were to be completed, reciting that those services were completed, and identifying either the name of successor counsel or the address and telephone number of the client in proper person. The attorney must serve a copy of the notice upon the client and all other parties to the action.
(2) Complete all services required by the court before filing a Notice of Withdrawal.
(3) Specify, in the withdrawal, at what point in time or proceeding the opposing party may directly contact the party represented by the withdrawing attorney.
(c) Except by specific order of court, no counsel shall be permitted to withdraw within 21 days prior to a scheduled trial or evidentiary hearing.
(d) Any notice of withdrawal that is filed without compliance with this rule shall be ineffective for any purpose.
[Added; effective January 27, 2017.]
NRPC 1.2. Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer.
(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client’s decision concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client’s decision whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client’s decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.
(b) A lawyer’s representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client’s political, economic, social or moral views or activities.
(c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.
(d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
Anthony has helped fill this niche since 2005, offering consulting services and unbundled services for those who do not want to hire the firm in an unbundled capacity.
Rule 6.1. Pro Bono Publico Service.
(a) Professional responsibility. Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least 20 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyer should:
(1) Provide a substantial majority of the 20 hours of legal services without compensation or expectation of compensation to:
(i) Persons of limited means; or
(ii) A public service, charitable group, or organization in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; and
(2) Provide any additional services through:
(i) Delivery of legal services at no fee or substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate;
(ii) Participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession; or
(iii) Delivery of services in connection with law-related education sponsored by the State Bar of Nevada, the Nevada Bar Foundation, a county bar association, or a court located in Nevada.
(3) As an alternative to rendering at least 20 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year as provided in subparagraphs (1) and (2), a lawyer may discharge the professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay by:
(i) Providing at least 60 hours of professional services per year at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or
(ii) Contributing at least $500 per year to an organization or group that provides pro bono legal services to persons of limited means.
(4) When pro bono legal service is performed for an individual without compensation or at a substantially reduced fee, the fee shall be agreed to in writing at the inception of the representation and refer to this Rule.
(5) The following do not qualify as pro bono legal service under this Rule:
(i) Legal services written off as bad debts;
(ii) Legal services performed for family members; and
(iii) Activities that do not involve the provision of legal services, such as serving on the board of a charitable organization.
(b) Reporting; discharge of professional responsibility.
(1) All members shall complete an Annual Pro Bono Reporting Form, indicating services performed under this Rule, to be submitted to the state bar annually on a form to be provided by the state bar with the members’ fee statements. If a member fails to file the report required by this Rule, the state bar shall notify the member that a fine of $100 will be imposed unless the member files the report within a specified period of time not less than 30 days after the notice.
(2) The professional responsibility to provide pro bono services as established under this Rule is aspirational rather than mandatory in nature. Accordingly, the failure to render pro bono services will not subject a member to discipline.
(c) Voluntary pro bono plan. The purposes of the voluntary pro bono plan are to make available legal services to those Nevadans who cannot otherwise afford them and to expand the present pro bono programs. To accomplish these goals the following committees are hereby created.
(1) District Court Pro Bono Committees. In each judicial district, the Chief Judge of the District Court shall appoint a Pro Bono Committee consisting of representatives of various members of the bench and bar as well as pro bono services and community organizations of that judicial district. The responsibility of these committees is to determine and address the specific unmet legal needs of that jurisdiction by way of a plan to be submitted to the Supreme Court. Pursuant to paragraph (d) of this Rule, the Pro Bono Committee may establish a foundation. The foundations are authorized to receive funds paid in satisfaction of an order of any court entered in accordance with paragraph (e) of this Rule and to determine the allocation and use of such funds in a manner consistent with this Rule. If no foundation is established, the Pro Bono Committee is authorized to receive such funds and determine their allocation and use in a manner consistent with this Rule.
(2) Access to Justice Section. The board of governors shall have the power to establish a permanent Statewide Access to Justice Section that shall assist in the implementation of this Rule as well as facilitate and support local efforts to improve the public’s access to justice. The initial officers of the Access to Justice Section shall be the currently serving officers of the Access to Justice Committee. Thereafter, elections for officers shall be held as provided in the Access to Justice Section’s bylaws, as approved by the board of governors. The Access to Justice Section shall be composed of regular members who are licensed to practice law in Nevada and laypersons who may become auxiliary members.
(d) Foundations. A district court Pro Bono Committee may establish a local foundation to actively promote the provision of civil legal services to disadvantaged persons and households within the district. A foundation established pursuant to this Rule shall be created as a Nevada nonprofit corporation and is authorized to:
(1) Actively promote the observance of this Rule within the district;
(2) Receive donations from members of the State Bar of Nevada and monies from the courts as provided in this Rule;
(3) Distribute such funds to providers of pro bono and free or reduced fee civil legal services in the district and to public law libraries;
(4) Develop other new sources of funding and support for delivery of civil legal services;
(5) Support existing legal services and pro bono efforts and foster new projects to broaden the existing range of civil legal services; and
(6) Serve as an educational facilitator to make the community as a whole aware of the efforts being made to provide all Nevadans within the district with full access to the justice system.
(e) Payment of civil sanctions to fund pro bono programs or libraries. Subject to the limitations of this Rule, a court may direct that sanctions or fines imposed under NRS 1.210, NRAP 38, NRCP 11, JCRCP 11, or like authority be paid to a nonprofit entity or law library specified below. The court’s discretion to direct payment of sanctions or fines to a nonprofit entity or law library, however, is limited to civil sanctions imposed against counsel, parties, witnesses or others appearing before the court and expressly excludes sanctions or fines imposed against a defendant in any criminal case. Payment may be directed only to the following:
(1) A nonprofit entity or committee designated pursuant to a voluntary pro bono plan described in paragraph (c) to serve the pro bono and access to justice needs either for the judicial district in which the judicial officer presides or, if serving outside his or her judicial district, where the case is heard; or
(2) A public law library or nonprofit entity associated with a public law library located either in the judicial district in which the judicial officer presides or, if serving outside his or her judicial district, where the case is heard; or
(3) To the Nevada Law Foundation or other statewide nonprofit entity designated by the state bar to serve pro bono and access to justice needs.
(4) The supreme court may also direct payment to such nonprofit entities or public law libraries located in the judicial district in which the matter before the supreme court originated or to any other public law library in the state.
(f) Limitation on authority to specify use of funds. A judicial officer who orders payment of a sanction or fine pursuant to paragraph (e) must not participate in the specific determination of which entity will receive the sanction or fine or of how that sanction or fine will be used by the nonprofit entity or law library designated to receive the funds. The judicial officer may, however, serve on the board or as an officer of a nonprofit entity created pursuant to this Rule, or of a law library or nonprofit entity associated with a law library, provided that he or she does not participate in specific decisions regarding the use of any sanction or fine directed to the nonprofit entity or library by that judicial officer.
[Added; effective May 1, 2006.]
ABOUT THE LAWYER
Anthony M. Wright, Esq. has been a domestic relations attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada since 2005. His practice primarily has focused on all incidents of Las Vegas Divorce and Las Vegas child custody including all the municipalities around Las Vegas.