Can I hire an attorney at anytime, even if I've already been appointed legal council? 46 Answers as of February 16, 2016

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KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
You have the right of an attorney of your choice. However, the attorney is due compensation, which you are responsible for.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 2/16/2016
Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
You have an absolute right to retain the attorney of your choice. A Court appointed attorney does not change it, although it may cost a lot more to chose your attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/15/2016
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, one typically has the right to hire and fire an attorney at will.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 2/10/2016
Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro
Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro | Gerard A Fierro
You generally have a right to change legal counsel. However, depending on the type of case and if you are close to a pending hearing, the court may not continue your case for the new counsel to get up to speed and the court may not release your existing counsel, especially if you have a case that is ready for trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/4/2016
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
I am assuming that this is a criminal case and you have a public defender. Theoretically, you can retain private counsel anytime, short of trial. However, the longer you wait, the harder it will be for your new attorney to become familiar with your case. In addition, if you wait too long, such as just before trial, a judge may not allow your new attorney to substitute in.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2016
    Alena Shautsova
    Alena Shautsova | Alena Shautsova
    Yes, you can hire an attorney at any time. You can change your attorney at any time as well.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/2/2016
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Yes, assuming you're competent in the eyes of the court to make that decision. However, you will have to pay for that attorney's time by yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/2/2016
    Lawyer for Independent Media
    Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
    I assume you are talking about a criminal case. Yes, you can hire a lawyer. However, hiring a private lawyer for a criminal case can be extremely expensive. If you can afford a private lawyer, how did you qualify for a public defender? If you have a relative or a support group who is able to pay the funds for a private lawyer, then you can hire one. Sometimes a private lawyer will work on your case in an advisory position to the public defender. That might save money. Be very careful and discuss this with your current lawyer. I know of at least one case recently where the federal government tried to take the defense funds that were being donated by supporters of the defendant. The government tried to force those funds to pay for the public defender, when the funds were specifically donated so the defendant could afford a private lawyer. And keep in mind that a public defender who is there in the courtrooms day in and day out and knows the system can often get you a better deal than a private lawyer who may not be so familiar with that particular court. If you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer, it is often good to look for one who is a former prosecutor in that same type of court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/2/2016
    The Montes Law Firm
    The Montes Law Firm | Lucio Antonio Montes
    Yes, you have an absolute right to choose the attorney that represents you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/2/2016
    Eric Johnson
    Eric Johnson | Eric Johnson
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/2/2016
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/2/2016
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