When you hire an attorney, you expect to receive full representation from someone who knows and follows the law. No matter what type of case you have, you want the best outcome possible.
However, if your attorney violates the Rules of Professional Conduct, acting unethically or not in your best interests, you should consider terminating your attorney.
When should I fire my attorney?
As soon as you suspect unethical or illegal behavior, you should confront your lawyer. In addition, if this professional used illegal methods to gain you as a client, you have a right to terminate your relationship. You can also fire attorneys if they do not do everything that they can to represent you within the parameters of the law. However, in most cases, you should fire your attorneys if you experience poor communication, you were unethically solicited or the attorney is incompetent.
You may consult with another attorney for clarification on the law as well. If you are in settlement negotiations, fire your lawyer before you receive an offer because your attorney has a claim on some of the settlement whether you sign it or not. Although signing a contract cannot prevent you from firing your lawyer, look over your contract to determine any fees you may have to pay upon termination.
How do I fire my attorney?
When you are ready to fire your attorney, you should do so in writing. Send an email, letter or text message about the termination, including why you are severing the relationship. After you fire your attorney, send instructions about where your files should go, e.g., to you or a new lawyer’s office.
Do your best to fire your lawyer before any litigation begins because you likely will not receive time from the judge to find new representation.