Some FAQs on Substituting Your Attorney

It’s happened to plenty of people, so you don’t have to feel alone. You’ve started a lawsuit, you thought it was going well, but suddenly, the sinking feeling keeps returning to you that your lawyer is not up to the task. They’re distracted or they’re not attentive or they don’t have the experience to take the case to the next step. The reasons are various, but the answer is always the same – you need to get a new lawyer.

But how? How do you go about the process of firing a lawyer and hiring a new one? If you are new to the legal system in any meaningful way, this can be incredibly stressful, on top of the stress that comes from your case in the first place.

Thankfully, Hach & Rose, LLP have provided some answers to these and other questions. The following is a summary of some of their most frequently asked questions and answers.

Why should you fire your attorney?

If your attorney isn’t communicating with you well, there may be a problem that needs to be addressed. This lack of communication can stem from many problems, from too heavy a caseload on the lawyer’s part to disinterest or simple disorganization, but no matter the reason, that may be a firing offense. Another potential issue could be your lawyer pushing your case in a direction you are uncomfortable with. If your lawyer wants to settle for a smaller amount than you think you should get, firing may be the best choice.

When should you fire them?

Don’t fire your lawyer until after you have chosen another one. Firing a lawyer without someone else to take over the case can lead to delays, missed deadlines, and other issues that can destroy your case. Once you have a lawyer in place, however, feel free to do the dirty work. Lawyers are by law required to hand over evidence and court documents to your new lawyer, so having a messy breakup won’t hurt your case at that point.

Will a new lawyer cost more?

If you are involved in a personal injury suit, the answer is nothing. Personal injury lawyers get paid out of your settlement, so you will not have any new fees to worry about. The fees taken at the end of the case will remain the same, they will simply be divvied up appropriately between all the lawyers who worked on the case, dependent upon how much each lawyer did.

Will a change affect the outcome?

That is impossible to know for sure, but there are certainly plenty of examples out there of cases where a change in representation resulted in major improvements in settlements. That is no guarantee the same will be true for you, but it is certainly at very least possible.

It is always best to hope your lawyer is as professional as you need them to be. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. If you have found yourself in a situation where you may need to make the leap to a different attorney, hopefully, the above questions have helped you along the way.

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