Does it look bad that I want to change my attorney? 33 Answers as of March 22, 2013

A suit has already been filed for my pi case. I'm the victim. I'm looking for another attorney as I'm not at all happy with the present one. I've been told it looks bad to other attorneys. I've received a date for the deposition. Should I go to that BEFORE I find a new attorney? Thank you.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
It is a red flag when a client is unhappy with his attorney and seeks another one because it is often unrealistic expectations on the part of the client. No lawyer wants a "problem client." However, there are often very legitimate reasons to need a new/different attorney. Sometimes the lawyer truly is incompetent; it happens. Often times it is that the client has unrealistic expectations. However, that is something that should be brought out at the initial interview.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 3/22/2013
Law Offices of William S. Lindheim | Fred Fong
It does not necessarily look bad or good.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2013
Michael J. Sgarlat Attorney at Law | Michael Joseph Sgarlat
No Necessarily. If you don;t like the way he's handling your case you can switch but read your contract first. Find out if you owe him anything before you do. Has any offer been made by the adverse party's insurance adjuster or attorney? If not then now is the time to switch horses.... If an offer has been made then he's probably entitled to his share of the offered amount when the case finally resolves.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 3/21/2013
Law Office of Christian F. Paul
Law Office of Christian F. Paul | Christian F. Paul
If you want to change attorneys, then change attorneys. No, it doesn't look bad and if it does look bad to someone, what do you care?? It won't make any difference.? You want an attorney you like, trust, and can work with to help you prevail in your case. If you don't have that attorney now, then find another and substitute him or her in as soon as possible. I wouldn't wait for your deposition to be over. It can be taken later if need be. Hope this perspective helps.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2013
David P. Slater, esq.
David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
No. Do you have a valid reason? Many clients switch.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/21/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    No it doesn't look bad, but make sure your perception is reality. Make sure you're being realistic about why your attorney does what he does and that what you expect is realistic. First talk with your present attorney and get an explanation of what you think is wrong, then talk with other attorneys to determine if you're correct. Then hire another subject to firing your current attorney and go from there.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    You MUST be comfortable with your lawyer. If not, it will be a very uncomfortable process. You have 2 choices: either you make an appointment with your current lawyer and explain your concerns and ask how the lawyer will attempt to make you feel comfortable, or you immediately go to meet with another lawyer. You do what makes you feel safe and comfortable. Don't worry about what other lawyers think. It only becomes a problem if you have changed lawyers 3 or more times during the course of a case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    You may change counsel whenever you like. You will be subject to the terms of any Retainer Agreement you had with your counsel. You may be responsible for costs or fees of your counsel (check the retainer agreement). If you are so responsible, sometimes this has to be taken care of immediately and other times same can act as a lien on any future recovery, and thus be deferred. If your attorney truly is not effectively representing your interests, it should not matter what it looks like and you should change counsel. However, if you can get an understanding with your current counsel about your representation and making it effective, that is always better, in my view. You can always ask another attorney for a 2nd opinion as to how your attorney is handling your matter if that will educate you/put your mind at ease. Sometimes an attorney is doing a good job for you, given the particular facts of your case, but you may not realize this. Other times, your attorney may not be representing you effectively, and it will be best to change counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Law Offices of Mark West
    Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
    If you change attorneys more than one time yes it can look bad. Changing once, while not great, isn't as bad as people who change 3 and even more times. You should talk with your attorney about your concerns and try to resolve them before changing. Your current attorney will be entitled to the reasonable value of his services to date which, depending on the size of your case, could make another attorney think twice about taking it on. If you are intent on changing, I would want the attorney who will represent me at trial or settlement negotiations to be involved in my deposition not an attorney who I am looking to fire.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    No, it doesn't look bad. However, your new attorney will have to share the fee with the current one. Therefore, you may have trouble finding someone to take over your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Johnson & Johnson Law Firm, PLLC | Richard Johnson
    Maybe. It depends. Keep in mind that most lawyers do not want to take on a case that another lawyer has already been working on.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    No, you can change your attorney anytime and it happens frequently. If you are planning to get a new attorney, do it before the deposition.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    My experience is that a single substitution of attorney is not perceived as a sign your case is weak; sometimes people just don't find the right attorney initially. When a plaintiff has more than one substitution that raises a red flag that either the case is weak or the plaintiff is difficult to deal with. Regarding substitution before your deposition, you should change attorneys before then. An attorney you have confidence in should be the one defending your deposition. Sometimes an attorney can tell when a client is drifting away from them and consequently the attorney's efforts at deposition can be compromised. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    In certain cases, it can look like you are "shopping" for an attorney. However, if you have legitimate hard tissue damages, then I would not hesitate to change attorneys and although not entirely necessary, would do so before your deposition occurs.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Law Office of Christian Menard
    Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
    There is always a perception when someone changes attorneys during the case. However, it is more important for you to have an attorney you are happy with. Do not fire your present attorney until you have hired your new one. Let your new attorney deal with that. I suggest holding off with your deposition if possible so that you can be coached for it by your new attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Toivonen Law Office | John Toivonen
    You must appear if you have been deposed. If you want to hire a new attorney, do so quickly. Judges do not like it when a party to a suit drags his feet over finding a new attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
    If you wish to change attorneys, go ahead and do it before the deposition.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    If you are unhappy with your attorney, interview other attorneys and see if you find one you like and that is willing to take your case. Your new attorney and the old attorney will work out the details.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Christopher A. Bradley, Esq.
    It is always a good idea to try to work out your differences with your attorney. Maybe it's just a case of a lack of communication that can be sorted out. If it can't be worked out you are better off getting a new lawyer sooner rather than later. You will want your attorney to be directly involved with as much of your case as possible, including his or her presence at your deposition.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    A. Dawn Hayes & Assoc. P.A.
    A. Dawn Hayes & Assoc. P.A. | A. Dawn Hayes
    You should feel comfortable and confident with your choice in attorneys. Sometimes dissatisfaction comes from a lack of communication or understanding of the litigation process. I would suggest that you make an appointment with your current attorney, have a list of your concerns prepared and discuss those. If you still have reservations, then change attorneys. One change will not be viewed as unfavorable by other attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    While it would be best to stay with the same attorney, if you do not have confidence in the attorney then you should change. It might make sense to change before the deposition so that the new attorney is involved in it.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It is a red flag to most attorneys when a client is looking to change lawyers in mid-stream. However, that does not necessarily mean the lawyer won't take the case. It depends on the circumstances. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    I disagree. Get you a new man as soon as possible. Lawyers really don't care and they understand that folks change lawyers all the time for good reasons and bad reasons and for no reasons at all.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    It depends entirely on why you are not happy with your attorney. Is it because he or she doesn't return your calls? Is it because his or her opinion of the value of your case is significantly lower than what you believe your case to be worth? There can be a myriad of reasons why you are unhappy with your attorney, but before you jump ship, I would suggest you should make an appointment, go meet with him (or her) face-to-face, and explain your concerns. If he or she explains what is going on to your satisfaction, then stay with that attorney. If you get no satisfaction, then you have the right to change attorneys. If your attorney was being a jerk, then the opposing counsel probably already knows he's a jerk and won't think less of you for changing attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Generally, yes it "looks" bad. The impression it gives is that either you, the client, is flighty and disagreeable even with his own advocate, or that the case is so weak that the attorney is bailing. That being said, if you do not have confidence in your lawyer, you have every right to find a lawyer that you do have confidence in. If you are going to switch, the sooner the better. The deposition can be adjourned to allow you new lawyer to come up to speed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    If you are going to get a new attorney, the earlier the better. I'm not saying you should get a new attorney. And yes, it is true that many attorneys look skeptically toward client who fire their previous attorney because these are often problem clients. I advise you to express your concerns to your current attorney.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    I think it depends on why you want to change. If you have a good reason it is worth any negative impression. Just make sure you get a good one if you change.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    No
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    It won't look bad unless you do it multiple times. You should do it before the deposition.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Farber & Company Attorneys, P.C.
    Farber & Company Attorneys, P.C. | Eric Farber
    People change attorneys all the time. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/20/2013
    Mike Lewis Attorneys | Mike Lewis
    If you are unhappy with your present attorney, talk to someone else right away, before the deposition.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    First of all when a client switches attorney's it could be for a number of reasons, beginning with the client is nuts, to the attorney is incompetent, and everything in between, so what other attorney's may or may not think should be the last issue addressed when making that decision, and second, you should be more concerned that you could receive less in your settlement since attorney number one (1) will almost certainly place a lien on the file, in many cases if you are on a contingency agreement for say 1/3 plus cost then the new attorney may or may not agree to pay the other attorney out of there 1/3, if they do you are ok, if not it could get expensive for you. As far as when should you switch, to me anyway, it makes no sense to stay with the attorney you plan to discharge through one of the most important parts of the case, next to the actual trial, a deposition. If you are going to replace your lawyer I think it would be wise to allow the new one to do the depo for a number of reasons, one obvious one is it will force them to familiarize themselves with the most important details of the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 3/19/2013
    workerscomp.tv
    workerscomp.tv | Terrence A. Valko
    Don't make your attorney do all the work of the deposition if you are going to betray him later. Remember: too many cooks spoil the soup.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/19/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney