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Elizabeth Prentice
Elizabeth Prentice, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Managing Attorney for one of the largest consumer bankruptcy firms in America.
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What are the rules for limited representation in Utah for bankruptcy

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What are the rules for limited representation in Utah for bankruptcy attorneys?

For example, suppose someone is in a pro se Chapter 13 and needs a motion filed for releasing a property. Can an attorney file a notice of appearance of counsel for limited representation only to file and represent on that motion and not have any responsibility for the rest of the case?
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I still need assistance

Thanks, Peter. We will search for a legal professional for you.
I am a bankruptcy attorney in Idaho & Nevada. Utah has similar laws and I've read your local rules. Typically, in a special circumstance, such as an adversary proceeding, a Judge will permit an attorney to represent a debtor in a limited circumstance. However, I just read Utah Bankruptcy Local Rules and pursuant to 2091-1(a), an attorney can not limit their representation of a debtor. Also, 2091-1(b) requires you file a motion (application) with a hearing in order to withdraw. I recently had to do the same in NV and I was able to withdraw, but since this debtor is pro se...the Judge will most likely not let you out and "ask" you to take the case pro bono. I've seen that happen before where a Debtor is pro se. Typically the Judge will ask for assistance from the attorneys in court to take a case pro bono, but since he will have you in the case on a technicality under this local rule he doesn't have to let you withdraw.

I think the best strategy would be to call the trustee first. Ask them if you file a Notice of Appearance for a limited purpose, will the Judge assigned let you withdraw regardless of the local rule. They will know the Judge the best and his/her feelings on the matter. The trustee may tell you that the Judge assigned may still allow you to withdraw on motion despite the local rule with merely a limited Notice of Appearance. But if the trustee advises you no, then inform them you will do a motion requesting to represent the debtor in a limited capacity and if they will not object. When the trustee is on board, the Judge will usually be too. Then file your motion to represent the debtor in a limited capacity, making sure you comply with local rules of service and informing the Court of the Trustee's approval. Once the Judge grants that, then move forward with the motion concerning property.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thought so. I saw something in California that limited representation is allowed, but have never seen it in Utah.

Yeah. I mean you could try, but I would be more worried about the Judge not letting you out. That is why I wouldn't do it unless you had a Motion requesting permission from the Court to appear on a limited basis. That way the Judge would have to let you out if he granted it, but it is going to make twice the work for you, so if you took the case you should add that into your upfront fees with a disclaimer that you may not even be able to appear on the limited basis.
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Elizabeth Prentice, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 174
Experience: Managing Attorney for one of the largest consumer bankruptcy firms in America.
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