Why would a lawyer not be able to take a case? 16 Answers as of March 12, 2013

Recently someone I know was arrested. We got him a lawyer. He went and saw him. When he got back from seeing him in jail, he said he could not take the case. He said he couldn't tell us why! He just done with a murder case but he can't take a burglary and possession of stolen property case.

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
He may have a conflict of interest with another client being a witness.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/12/2013
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
It could be for a variety of reasons including a potential conflict of interest, or a conflict with the client on how to proceed, etc. The lawyer doesn't have to give a reason.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/12/2013
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Hard to say. Perhaps not a high profile case, not enough money as a murder case, the facts or victim just is causing a conflict. There are a multitude of reasons the attorney does not have to say. The attitude if a client is important, too.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/12/2013
Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law | Randy M. Lish
There may be a conflict of interest of some kind.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/11/2013
William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
Perhaps after meeting with the potential client, the lawyer learned something that presents a conflict of interest for the lawyer. Some conflicts of interest require the lawyer to not take the case and not say why, in order to both avoid the conflict and not hurt the client. An example might be if a client wants to take the stand and lie about what happened. The law prohibits a lawyer from helping his client commit perjury. The lawyer should refund the retainer.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/11/2013
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    He can, he does not want to. Either the money is short, or the client is no good.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Lawyer has the discretion to accept or reject representation of a client. The reason is his business, not yours.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Conflict of interest is all that I can think of.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Kevin H Pate
    Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
    There are any number of reasons an attorney might decline representation. The defendant might be a witness against another client. The defendant might have informed the attorney of something that would preclude the lawyer from helping him. The attorney might have realized the case would be far more complex than his available time would permit. The attorney might have realized part of the stolen property belonged to someone close to him. There are any umber of other reasons as well. As the lawyer is bound by attorney/client privilege, he can not reveal to the defendant's friends and family anything about the conversation between the attorney and the defendant.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It could be he had a conflict such as a witness in the case was a client of the lawyer, or he already was handling a co-defendants case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    It is discretionary.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    The O'Hanlon Law Firm, P.C. | Stephen O'Hanlon
    A conflict, you have insufficient money, or very annoying potential client.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Maybe he had a conflict of interest such as he previously represented a witness or maybe he thought he was in over his head.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
    Either he did not feel the client had a sufficient retainer or he saw a conflict of interest. Perhaps he felt he was too bust to take on any new clients, but then why would he go and see him in the first place. I suspect it is a matter of not enough money down and him not wanting to take payments on a serious case that might go to trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    I can't answer this question but there are plenty of lawyers out there who will take the case.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 3/11/2013
    Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
    The Lawyer probably didn't want to take the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/11/2013
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