Can I fire my attorney if I don't think he's representing my best interest in an auto accident? 32 Answers as of June 12, 2013

I don't think my lawyer is working for me. What happens if I want to seek other legal representation? I don't know what to do. This is the first time in 39 years of life I needed a lawyer, and I was lucky enough to pick the worst one! Please help!

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Gebler & Weiss, P.C. | Jerrie S. Weiss
You can fire your attorney at any time. Just sent him a letter and ask for him to return your file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/2/2012
Sedin Begakis & Bish | Mindy Bish
You can always terminate the services of an attorney. If this is an auto accident taken on a contingency basis then the attorney will simply seek a lien either from you or any other attorney you hire for the time he or she has put into your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/28/2012
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Certainly. Not even marriages last forever.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/28/2012
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
You have the right to terminate your attorney at any time. Once terminated, please feel free to contact my office and hopefully it will be something for which we are able to represent you.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 9/28/2012
Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
You certainly can "fire " your attorney . Carefully read the contingent fee contract you signed with your current attorney . Then speak with another attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/28/2012
    Brown & Brown | Lee Brown
    You can terminate your lawyer, but you should try to find a new attorney first. You may have a difficult time finding a new attorney to take your case because the current attorney has a right to a lien on your case to be compensated for his efforts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can replace your attorney at any time, but if you are paying them a retainer or they are assigned to you or representing you by subjugation on behalf of your insurance company then it is more difficult. If you are paying your attorney he is entitled to keep any money that he has earned and must return any retainer that has not been earned yet. He must provide you or your new attorney with the file. Many cases take a long time to settle and clients may get the impression that their lawyer is "not fighting for me", or "isn't doing anything for me", which may or may not be true. I try to return phone calls within an hour or at the end of the day, but not all lawyers will do this and that is where people get upset. If you explain what you are doing and why the case is taking so long people might understand or they might still be unsatisfied. The client is not usually in a position to know what an attorney is doing unless he asks the lawyer for an explanation or an itemized bill. Insurance companies will try to delay payments of settlements and there is very little lawyers can do other than to settle for less than the case is worth. No matter what the situation is the lawyer should return your calls and take the time to answer all of your questions. He should tell you what he has done and why the case is taking so long to settle. Civil cases can drag on for many years and that is the fault of the legislature because they do not set strict time limits on civil cases. Insurance companies lobby politicians for favorable laws and sometimes it takes years to get depositions, medical tests, investigations, or other things that have to be done before a case is ready for trial or even settlement. The insurance companies hope you will settle for less to get the money or that they will pay off years later since that is to their advantage.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC | Louis J. Meyer
    You are always able to fire your attorney. You should send him a letter stating that you no longer need his representation and ask for your file. Once he is no longer your attorney, other attorneys will speak with you and take over your file.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/28/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You may terminate your lawyer at any time. ask for your file. He must return it. no consequence to you unless you have misbehaved in the process. In any event you can fire your lawyer any time
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    You can fire your attorney at any time for any or no reason at all. I'm not saying you should, just that you can. Read your retainer agreement too. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    Yes you can.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Yes you can...fire the attorney and find another one who will properly represent you. The lawyer works for you like any other person you would hire to do work for you.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    Lawyers are no different from plumbers or electricians or any other service. If you are unhappy with their services, you are free to go elsewhere. Most personal injury attorneys are contingent fee lawyers, which means you would not have to pay anything extra to go to another attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    SHAPIRO LAW GROUP | ERIC L. SHAPIRO
    Yes, a lawyer can be fired. However, the attorney may have a lien on the case depending on what has been done, if any offers have been made and several other factors.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C.
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C. | John F. Turck IV
    Yes, of course you can fire your attorney. If you're not happy with your lawyer, and you don't think the relationship can be salvaged, then vote with your feet, fire the lawyer and hire a new one who will communicate with you and give you candid and clear advice. It's your case, not the lawyer's case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Just pick another you like and the attorneys will work out the fee. It will not cost you more.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Seek a second opinion, which you should expect to pay for. If you suspicions are confirmed then fire your lawyer, engage another, ask for a fill or partial refund and grieve the attorney with the state bar.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Law Office of Alan H. Segal
    Law Office of Alan H. Segal | Alan H. Segal
    You are absolutely entitled to change lawyers. However, you will still have to pay the present lawyer for the work that he has done on the case.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    You are the boss and can send a discharge letter to your attorney. Review your fee agreement to determine what if any fee you may owe him/her.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Yes, but you are likely going to have to pay for his services to date of discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    You can always switch attorney's anytime you wish, your current attorney will most likely place a lien on the file so once the case settles they will get paid for time spent. There is nothing for the most part you can do about that as long as the fees are reasonable, and that determination is not made by you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    I always encourage people to try and meet and work out any differences they may have with their current attorney. Sometimes the issues are more perception than reality. But if you cannot work it out, you can fire your attorney. It can be difficult to find another lawyer because attorneys often see people that fire attorneys as potentially difficult clients. If you fire your attorney, they will be able to put a lien on your case and recover a percentage from your new attorney's fees. This is another deterrent for any new lawyer you may retain.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    Absolutely you can fire him but be advised that he is entitled to a lien for the reasonable fees and costs for work performed thus far. He will need to give you an itemized breakdown of his claimed fees and costs. Do not accept sub-par representation!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Hirsch, Closson, McMillan & Schroeder, APLC
    Hirsch, Closson, McMillan & Schroeder, APLC | Paul Schroeder
    You can fire your lawyer any time you want to. However, you should check your fee agreement (which is required to be in writing) to see if there are any conditions pertaining to termination (such as 30 days notice). Also, the fee agreement may include a provision giving him or her a lien on your case, or requiring immediate reimbursement of fees or costs upon termination. Regardless, he or she can sue you for the reasonable value of services rendered up to this point. However, lawyers are only entitled to a reasonable fee, so if he or she has truly done a poor job, a court or arbitrator may award less than what the lawyer claims he or she is owed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    ABSOLUTELY! A lawyer's job is to represent his client to the best of his or her abilities, and if he or she is not doing that, you have the right to fire him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Havens Law, LLC
    Havens Law, LLC | William Havens Nebeker
    You're not alone, many clients don't know whom to trust when it comes to legal representation. The two most important aspects of legal representation are: Trust and Experience. You don't have to settle one to get the other. Our firm represents a lot of Clients that were formerly represented by other attorneys. They too were getting "screwed" so the fired their attorneys and retained our firm. We can't guarantee everything, but we will most certainly make sure you pay less, keep your dignity, and get your best interests represented. Remember, the attorney works for you! Fire him at any point and at any time. Some attorneys will put penalties into their contract with you so it is best to look at your agreement. That's the first thing I do before firing the old attorney and getting hired. It usually takes a letter from the new attorney to the old attorney to fire them too.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    You are always free to switch. The lawyers split the fee; you don't pay extra.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/27/2012
    Sweeney & Sweeney
    Sweeney & Sweeney | J.Leonard Sweeney, III
    You can fire your attorney at any time typically.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    A client is free to change attorneys but keep in mind what the terms of your contract are with the attorney. I suggest you make an appointment and sit down face to face to discuss your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 9/27/2012
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