If you are involved in a lawsuit, getting the right settlement can bring you the closure you need and the compensation you deserve. When you are working with a lawyer, you should feel confident that they will get you the best possible results.
Sometimes lawyers make a great first impression, but as you start working with them, you begin to see signs that they are not all they’re cracked up to be. They may not be communicating with you as often as they should. They may be disorganized or a bit green to the industry. For many clients, this begs the question, can I switch lawyers mid-case?
This article will take a look at what you can do if you’re unhappy with your lawyer.
Can I Fire My Lawyer Mid-Case?
The answer to this question is yes, you can absolutely fire your lawyer mid-case. However, there are certain procedures you will have to follow to do so.
Will Firing My Attorney Hurt My Case?
Firing your attorney will not change the way the court sees your case, but it may have other repercussions. For instance, it may take your new lawyer a while to get up to speed. This can be detrimental if you are at a point in your case where you are facing a hearing, an appearance or a motions deadline.
Finally, if you’re going to make the switch, make sure you get it right the second time. If you change lawyers too often it will begin to slow down the litigation process. The judge and jury will start to get annoyed, and that will not help your case at all!
What are Signs that My Lawyer Should Be Fired?
A lawyer may not always get you the results you’re hoping for, but it’s important that they are doing their best. Switching lawyers is a big decision and, as long as you feel your lawyer is doing everything they can to help you win your case, stick with them.
However, there are some circumstances that will call for you getting a new lawyer including the following:
- Your Lawyer Doesn’t Understand Your Case: If your lawyer isn’t understanding your case, you may want to find someone more experienced.
- Poor Communication: Your lawyer should be returning all your phone calls and emails promptly and communicating with you in a way that makes the legal process understandable.
- Unprofessional Behavior: Your lawyer should be well organized, especially in terms of handling funds and documents.
- Unfavorable Court Decision: As mentioned earlier, if your lawyer is doing all they can to represent you, an unfavorable decision may not be their fault. However, if you think they dropped the ball, you may want to look for another attorney.
- You Disagree About the Handling of the Case: If you feel your lawyer is forcing you to take a settlement you are unhappy with, you may want to seek out alternate representation.
What Do I Need to Do When Parting Ways With My Lawyer?
If you have decided that you need to move on from your attorney, there is a certain procedure that must be followed. Here are some things you will want to do.
- Review Your Contract: It’s likely the contract you have with your lawyer outlines steps you should take if you want to terminate the relationship. It’s important that you follow the proper procedure. After all, no one wants to get into a legal battle with a lawyer, right?
- Find a New Attorney: You should never fire your old attorney before hiring a new one. Doing so will leave you without legal representation and having to handle legal matters on your own could be damaging to your case.
- Write Your Lawyer a Letter: You must write a letter to your lawyer to make the termination official. The letter should include a reason for termination. You should request that all legal files be forwarded to your new lawyer. You must also request that any advance payments be returned to you. It is advisable to send the letter certified mail. That way you will have proof it was sent.
- Notify the Court: The court must be notified of a change in counsel. This should be done at the same time or immediately after you send your letter. Your old lawyer will then file a motion to withdraw and your new lawyer will file a motion for substitution counsel.
- Pay Your Lawyer Any Fees Due: If you have any outstanding fees due to your lawyer, they should be paid off. Otherwise your lawyer has the right to hold on to your files. They can also sue you in small claims court and submit an attorney’s lien against your settlement winnings.
Finding the Right Lawyer
The Jeffcoat team understands the value of your case. They always conduct business a professional manner. They use aggressive strategies to make sure their clients get the results they are looking for and they keep the people they represent in the loop during every step of the decision making process.
If your’re fighting at fault parties, don’t’ let poor representation ruin your case. Call the Jeffcoat Firm today.