When it’s a good idea to switch attorneys or get a second opinion from a different attorney. There are many times when people complain about their attorney saying they won’t pick up their phone, they won’t call them back, etc. What’s going on here? That could be the highest complaints of attorneys is not picking up phone calls, not returning phone calls, etc. If your attorney is not calling you back within a reasonable amount of time, a few days or so latest, it might be time to think about talking to someone else.
You Can Fire Your Attorney, But There May Be Consequences
You as the individual have the right to fire your attorney any time, no questions asked. You can fire your attorney. There may be repercussions to firing an attorney.
You May Be On Your Own
The first one is that you’re going to be on your own unless you have another attorney to replace that attorney. So you may be trying to figure out the legal procedure within a lawsuit or legal matter. Unless you have some kind of formal legal training or practical training, this is probably going to be a very difficult task to maneuver.
The Attorney May Have a Lien
Another potential repercussion that you might want to take into consideration when hiring an attorney is that the attorney may be able to place a lien on your case. What is a lien? A lien is a contract that gets placed against your case so that when monies come in they can be paid first out of it. So attorneys can have a cost lien. So for example let’s say that they fronted a $500 filing fee, $2,000 for this expert or this deposition, etc. they can place a lien against the case for that amount for cost. Also they can have an attorney’s fees lien. So in your fee agreement you might have signed something that allows for the attorney in case of them being fired. They can place an attorney’s fees lien so they should so they’ll have the ability to be compensated for the amount of time that they put into the case. Let’s say an attorney put a hundred hours into a case and you decide to fire them. It wouldn’t really be equitable or fair to for the attorney to just not get paid anything from the case, especially after all that work. So you may have signed in your fee agreement a lien for attorneys fees as well. This is a risk of firing an attorney.
Should You Fire Your Attorney?
Here are a list of red flags:
- You’re not confident in your attorney
- Your attorney is disrespectful
- Your attorney is not returning phone calls or just not responsive
- You don’t feel like your attorney is doing a good job on your case
If any of those situations apply to you, then it may be time to consider firing the attorney and getting a new one. Certainly if it’s early on in the case, they haven’t really been doing much, and you just don’t hear from them. Those are red flags, and they might not be the best fit for you. There are a lot of attorneys out there. You are certainly within your right to get rid of your attorney if that is what you want to do and you can hire a different attorney that would be better suited for you.