Under what guidelines is it ok for an attorney to request to sub out as your attorney? 1 Answers as of April 11, 2011If you have already spent significant time and money getting them up to speed, how can it be ok for them to decide they no longer want to represent you because the opposing consul is difficult?
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You are not required to sign a substitution of attorney to allow your attorney to substitute out. The result would be that you would be left unrepresented, and in Pro Per. You could negotiate with your attorney for a partial refund of fees, if he/she feels unable to deal with opposing counsel, since you invested money in your attorney's education as to the facts in your case, and you would need to invest money in another attorney's education about the same facts. If your attorney wants to substitute out because you are in arrears in payment of attorney's fees, or because you are not cooperating with your attorney's efforts to represent you, your attorney could file a Motion to be Relieved as your counsel, and may well prevail on a Motion on those grounds. However, if your attorney wants to substitute out because the other attorney is to difficult to deal with, those are not grounds that the Court would accept as grounds to relieve your attorney as your counsel. Nevertheless, as a practical matter, if your attorney feels "outgunned" by the adverse attorney, or unable to deal with the adverse attorney, that would likely harm your attorney's ability to be effective as your counsel, so you should start interviewing other experienced Family Law Attorneys, and among other things, question them about their dealings with the adverse attorney, and their knowledge of the adverse attorney's reputation, in an effort to find an attorney who can handle the case effectively for you and not get intimidated by the adverse attorney's tactics.
Answer Applies to: California