Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 137
(June 14, 2013)
Under Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(c), an attorney may limit the scope of a representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent. Such a limited scope representation may include providing advice to a party regarding the drafting of a pleading, motion or other paper, or reviewing a pleading, motion or other paper drafted by a party, without filing a general or limited scope appearance. In such circumstances, an attorney is not required to sign or otherwise note the attorney's involvement and the certification requirements in Rule 137 are inapplicable. Moreover, even if an attorney is identified in connection with such a limited scope representation, the attorney will not be deemed to have made a general or limited scope appearance.
Consistent with the limited scope of services envisioned under this drafting and reviewing function, attorneys may rely on the representation of facts provided by the self-represented person. This rule applies, for example, to an attorney who advises a caller to a legal aid telephone hotline regarding the completion of a form pleading, motion or other paper or an attorney providing information at a pro bono clinic.
All obligations under Rule 137 with respect to signing pleadings and certifications apply fully in those limited scope representations where an attorney has filed a general or limited scope appearance. Drafting a pleading, motion or other paper, or reviewing a pleading, motion or paper drafted by a party does not establish any independent responsibility not already applicable under current law.
(December 17, 1993)
The rule is modified to clarify when motions for sanctions must be filed.
(August 1, 1989)
The Supreme Court has adopted Rule 137, effective August 1, 1989. Rule 137 will require all pleadings and papers to be signed by an attorney of record or by a party, if the party is not represented by an attorney, and (treating such signature as a certification that the paper has been read, that after reasonable inquiry it is well-grounded in fact and law, and that it is not interposed for any improper purpose, etc.) the rule authorizes the trial courts to impose certain sanctions for violations of the rule. Rule 137 preempts all matters sought to be covered by section 2-611 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Unlike section 2-611, Rule 137 allows but does not require the imposition of sanctions. Unlike section 2-611, Rule 137 requires a trial judge who imposes sanctions to set forth with specificity the reasons and basis of any sanction in a separate written order. Unlike section 2-611, Rule 137 does not make special provisions concerning the potential exposure to sanctions of insurance companies that might employ attorneys.