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Can I Fire My Attorney?


When you take your legal issue to an attorney, you expect that he or she will take care of your interests and do his or her best to make your case. Sometimes, however, things don’t work out. Like any relationship, personalities can clash, or expectations may be unreasonable. You may not feel like your attorney is doing enough to advance your case or you may feel ignored.

If you are thinking about firing your attorney, consider several options before terminating your relationship. For example, do you have another attorney you would like to retain instead? Or will you be left without representation? Read on to find out what you should consider before firing your attorney.

Would You Have the Same Issues with Another Attorney?

Before switching to a new lawyer, carefully consider the reasons you want to change. If you are unhappy because your lawyer refuses to do what you want, it may be because what you want is not possible. Sometimes claims that we think we should be able to make are actually prohibited by various laws or ethical considerations. If your attorney refuses to do what you want, ask for a legal explanation. If you still believe that a course of action is reasonable or if you find another attorney who would be able to do what you ask, then it may be wise to hire new counsel.

Would Changing Lawyers Hurt Your Case?

Timing is everything when it comes to changing attorneys. If your current attorney has not yet begun your case, then it is easier to hire a new attorney. Keep in mind that your new attorney will have to catch up to where your prior attorney left off. As your case progresses and your attorney does more work to prepare your case, it becomes more difficult to change counsel. Still, it is possible.

Are You Unhappy with Your Lawyer’s Communications?

The most common complaint about attorneys is a lack of responsiveness. If you cannot communicate with your attorney and he or she does not respond to your questions or phone calls, it may be time to find a new lawyer. Consider before you do, however, if your demands are reasonable. Many attorneys manage hundreds of clients and simply do not have time to talk to each client every day. If you hire a new attorney, choose someone who is known for having the level of communication that you desire.

What Happens After You Fire Your Attorney?

If you fire your attorney, you still will be responsible to pay for the work that he or she already completed. If your lawyer was on a contingency fee, talk to your new attorney about how you will have to pay the previous attorney’s fees. Failing to pay your legal bill could result in a lawsuit against you.

Once you fire your attorney, you will be unrepresented. You can choose to go forward with your case on your own or you can hire a new lawyer. If your case has already started, be aware that the other side will continue to file motions and move the case forward even if it takes you a while to find new counsel. For that reason, make sure you decide on a course of action prior to firing your current lawyer. If you retain a new attorney before firing your old attorney, your new lawyer can take care of the firing process for you.

The attorneys at Hensley Legal Group represent clients who have been injured in all types of accidents. Call our office or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.