When You Should Fire Your Attorney
- If your attorney is not communicating with you. Communication is key to a successful outcome of any legal case. With this in mind, attorneys are responsible to keep their clients informed of all important activity in their case. That means informing the client of upcoming court dates and any settlement offers. If your attorney is not keeping you up to date on the status of your case, you should consider firing him/her. Likewise, if your attorney never seems to return your calls or emails, this is a huge red flag. Yes, we all understand that an attorney may be in trial, and might be unable to return a phone call promptly, but he/she should still respond to emails. Even if your attorney is busy, a secretary or paralegal should be able answer basic questions.
- Your attorney is unprepared or unprofessional. If your attorney shows up to court unprepared or does not seem to understand the relevant facts or law, it may be time to fire him/her. If your attorney bullies or intimidates you, opposing counsel, or others who may be involved in the case, that is another red flag. Judges do notice unprofessional behavior by attorneys, and it could be harmful to your case. If your attorney is lying to you, or worse being less than honest with the court, you should fire him/her sooner than later.
- You Cannot Afford Your Attorney. We all know attorneys are expensive and attorney bills can get out of sight. Sometimes fees get so high that it becomes impossible to continue to afford attorney representation. It is not uncommon for extended litigation to become more expensive than it is worth. In this regard, depending on the circumstances and issues, it may be better to cut your losses and not run up more legal fees. If you find yourself getting buried in legal fees, it may be time to consider all other options thoughtfully.
- You Realize You Don’t Need an Attorney. It is not uncommon for someone to jump the gun and hire an attorney for simple matters they can handle themselves. If you find yourself in that situation and your legal matter only requires document preparation, don’t be too proud to dismiss your attorney and go ahead on your own. In routine legal proceedings, a registered legal document assistant like A People’s Choice should be able to help you with any legal paperwork you need.
When You Should Think Twice Before Firing an Attorney
- You disapprove how the attorney is handling your case. If you want to go to trial, and your attorney wants to settle, your immediate thought may be to fire your attorney. Remember that attorneys are looking out for your best interest. If your attorney is encouraging you to settle, there is a good chance the facts and the law are not on your side. A reasonable attorney will sometimes tell a client something they do not want to hear. After careful consideration, if you and your attorney cannot agree on how to proceed, you may want to seek new representation or at least get a second opinion.
- You and your attorney are not clicking. Do you feel that your lawyer is a bit detached and does not understand your emotional attachment to the case? Do not fire an attorney because you are not “clicking” unless you have given the decision careful consideration. It may be that you are just upset and do not understand your lawyer’s advice. Yes, it is essential that you have a good rapport with your attorney. If you feel that the relationship is not working and he/she does not have your back, you may need to fire your attorney.
Keep in mind that firing an attorney can potentially hurt your case. Courts may frown on someone who changes an attorney during complex litigation. Lastly, a new attorney may reject you as a client if you fired a previous attorney.
If you do decide to fire your attorney, contact A People’s Choice to see if we can help you with the rest of your legal document needs. Call us at 800-747-2780 for a free phone discussion.