September 20, 2010
Housing Court to Offer Limited Assistance Representation
Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan has approved a Standing Order requested by the Housing Court to introduce Limited Assistance Representation (LAR). Notice of the Standing Order will appear in Lawyers Weekly and on its website in October and become effective November 1st.
"Expansion of Limited Assistance Representation into a new court department reflects the value of launching a focused Trial Court initiative on access to justice," said Chief Justice Mulligan. "I commend the Housing Court and I anticipate ongoing productive collaboration and coordination between the Access to Justice Commission and the Trial Court’s Access to Justice Initiative."
Housing Court Chief Justice Steven Pierce said, "The Housing Court is pleased to offer this important resource to the large number of self-represented litigants appearing in our various courts. LAR allows litigants and lawyers the opportunity for selected representation which controls costs and specifies the limits of the lawyer-client relationship."
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 and the Boston Municipal Court introduced LAR last spring. The District Court plans to conduct a pilot with civil cases in 2011.
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’s case. Protocols and procedures for the use of LAR are established by each court department.
Housing Court Standing Order 1-10
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