CAN I SWITCH LAWYERS?
Here’s a great article by Marc Albert, a top rated Long Island car accident lawyer. If you are in the middle of an injury claim and are wondering if you should switch lawyers, there are some questions you ought to ask yourself before making that move. Sometimes, the court may deny you a request to change lawyers. In some cases, it may not be wise to hire a new lawyer, especially if the trial is about to end. The following web page will discuss some of the aspects involved with switching lawyers in a personal injury case.
Can you Change Lawyers Mid-Case?
The relationship between a lawyer and client is immune to the intervention of a judge. A judge cannot force a person to remain in a contract with a lawyer against their wish. If a person no longer believes in the services of their lawyer, they are free to discharge them and find a new lawyer. The lawyer will be required to file a withdrawal notice to be released from further responsibility in the personal injury claim. After withdrawal, the dismissed lawyer should submit the client’s original paper, and refund unused retainer funds. If the client owes the lawyer unpaid fees, the lawyer will be entitled to receive payment from any proceeds they receive when the case is finalized.
However, there are instances when a judge will turn down a withdrawal notice. If the client’s intention to switch lawyers is communicated during or on the eve of trial, the judge may deny the request on the ground that this is inconveniencing and biased towards the opposing side.
What Considerations Should Be Made When Changing Lawyers Mid Case?
Some of the factors to consider when changing legal representation mid case are:
Whether the new attorney will need a retainer, and if it is affirmative, how much it will cost
The time and effort that will be required to get the new attorney up to speed with the details of the case
Whether the new lawyer-client relationship has been repaired
What are the Grounds for Changing Lawyers Mid Case?
Incompetence of the Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer is tasked with securing compensation for their client’s property damage or injuries. When the client determines that their lawyer is not competent enough to get a satisfactory ruling, they can fire their lawyer and hire another one. Some of the ways of determining a lawyer’s incompetence is by looking at their resume, and reviewing their track record. Also, when dealing with your lawyer, if you feel that they don’t inspire confidence, you ought to replace them.
Though a lawyer’s role is not to act as the client’s friend, many clients want to develop rapport with their legal representatives. Many people are looking for lawyers who are warm and friendly. If despite their cold nature, you trust your lawyer as competent enough to deliver you a good ruling, you should keep them. However, if you and your lawyer do not get along, lack of a good working relationship could ruin your chances of a good settlement, and it would be better to find another lawyer.
One of the complaints that most client make to lawyer disciplinary commissions, is that their lawyers are not responding to calls. If you are unable to reach your lawyer, this is a clear sign that you need to replace them. It could mean your lawyer is understaffed and does not have someone to respond to their calls. It could also mean that your lawyer is incompetent. If your lawyer fails to return calls, emails, or letters, this communication breakdown could work against your case.
Breach of Trust
The relationship between a lawyer and their client is based on trust. If a lawyer breaks the trust of their client, or discloses information that was disclosed by their client in secret, they may be disbarred for breaking the laws on lawyer-client privilege. If you think for any reasonable cause that your lawyer is not trustworthy, it would be advisable to replace them before they disclose information that will ruin your case.
Replacing lawyers mid case is common in personal injury cases. Sometimes lawyers fall short of their client’s expectations; therefore, one has to replace them to save their case. However, before rushing to hire a new lawyer, you need to make the considerations mentioned above, and ensure that you have reasonable grounds for firing your current lawyer.