In civil law cases, you typically enjoy the right to substitute your counsel at any time for any reason. You can even substitute your defense attorney in criminal cases, albeit this may be limited to court permission in certain instances. One thing to keep in mind is that, even if you hired a lawyer, you are ultimately accountable for your legal matters and what your attorney speaks and does on your account. It may be critical to your interests to take action if you feel there is an issue with the assistance you are getting.
However, dismissing your counsel is a significant move. It can slow down your case, increase your total legal fees, and require you to devote time and effort to bring a new individual up to speed on the concerns. Before doing the action, you should thoroughly consider the consequences.
Identifying the Problem
Whether you’re a plaintiff or a defendant, or just a party seeking legal advice, having the appropriate lawyer is critical. The lawyer-client relationship, like other partnerships, does not usually continue forever. Clients frequently describe the following issues with attorneys:
Poor outcomes. Simply put, the lawyer isn’t accomplishing the goals you were told to expect he or she could.
Ineffective communication. The lawyer fails to communicate important legal issues and conclusions, leaving you unsure of where your case is and what is required of you.
Professionalism is lacking. The lawyer may be late for meetings, forget important details about the case, be unable to locate papers previously supplied by the client, and even neglect to deliver documents by critical dates.
In such cases, you should communicate with your lawyer and convey your concerns orally and in writing before terminating the lawyer’s services. If you feel your attorney’s professional behavior has been breached, you can file an ethics complaint against them.
Disadvantages of Changing Lawyers
Just because you have the option to change attorneys does not imply you should. Before you dismiss your lawyer, there are some things to bear in mind.
To begin, think about where you are in your legal representation. Is it the week leading up to a trial, or you’re in the middle of a tense negotiation? It’s possible that you won’t be able to find a new lawyer in time to completely investigate and manage your case. A rookie attorney might not even be able to get up and running right away.
Second, think about if you’ve previously changed counsel for the same legal issue. Judges, in particular, may be irritated by a petitioner whose “lawyer shopping,” as it causes the case to drag on and clogs their dockets.
Although changing lawyers once throughout a lawsuit may be permissible if circumstances necessitate it, changing lawyers many times should be avoided.
Third, examine if a new attorney will be able to achieve a different result. Was it the fault of the previous lawyer’s failure, or was it just a case of the law not being on your side?