Can a defendant have two law firm represent them in a civil case? 22 Answers as of July 08, 2013

The defendant in my civil lawsuit has two different law firms representing them, is there a penalty for this? Is it okay? They both filed appearances and they are taking different actions. One filed a motion to extend time to answer the complaint while the other filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. Are they violating any kind of rule? Can this bring penalty of any kind to their side? Are both motions valid?

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Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
Occasionally a defendant in a civil lawsuit will have an attorney provided by his insurance company and a personal coverage attorney who is hired by the individual defendant, not the insurance company. This typically arises when there is some strain between the best interests of the individual defendant and his insurance company's interests which can work to the advantage of the plaintiff.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/14/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Nothing wrong with 2 lawyers.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/11/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You can have 2 or 200 hundred lawyers. There are not enough facts here for me to understand why there are 2. But that seems to be the problem of the other side of the case, and not your problem
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 10/28/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
That is really not your concern. What does your attorney say?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/8/2013
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
The answer is yes. It depends on the nature and complexity of the litigation. As a plaintiff, you also have the right to retain more that one lawyer if the lawsuit is complex and needs certain legal specialization.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 10/12/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    You should speak with your own attorney about it. Without further information, there doesn't seem to be any violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa=court_rules.list&group=ga&set=RPC) as long as there isn't any conflict of interest.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    Yes. A defendant can have as many law firms as it wants. The two firms can work together - as they have, apparently, here. Both motions would likely be valid.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I have no opinion on the validity of their motions, but I am not aware of any rule that says only one lawyer can represent a client. In a deposition and at trial, only one lawyer can question the witness, but I'm involved in a couple of cases where I have co-counsel, and we both have filed pleadings and discovery in representing our client. In trial, it is typical to see different attorneys question different witnesses, but only one lawyer per witness.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    A party may have more than one law firm representing them. If they are taking inconsistent actions, it needs to be brought to their intention that they are doing so, and if they refuse to straighten it out, then you need to seek court intervention.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Yes, this is fine.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    It is permissible for a party to be represented by two different law firms. There is nothing wrong with one firm filing the motion for an extension of time and the other firm filing the motion to dismiss.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    Anybody can have more than one lawyer represent them in an action. It happens frequently. However, as a general rule, they all must be listed on each pleading that is filed. If there appears to be inconsistencies, your attorney should consider bringing it to the attention of the judge on the case.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/11/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    A defendant can have as many attorneys as it wants. Whether the motions are "valid" or not would depend on what the motions are for, and what arguments they make, but it's likely that they are legitimate. There is a time limit for responding to the motions, if you don't have an attorney you should find one as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/11/2011
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