Every profession has good, talented people — and then there are those who are less talented or motivated to do the right thing. The legal profession is no different. Not everyone who graduates from law school is a great lawyer, and sometimes it takes a little searching to find the one who’s right for you and your case.
Choosing a lawyer is similar to choosing a doctor or therapist. Even a great lawyer might not be a great fit for you. There could be specific issues that make the lawyer less qualified to help with your situation, but it could also be that your personalities don’t mesh well together — and that’s okay.
But if you’ve already signed a contract with a lawyer and then you feel like it’s not working out, what are valid reasons to fire your lawyer?
Let’s take a look at several reasons why you should consider a “break up” with your lawyer.
Reason #1: Your lawyer isn’t returning your calls.
Lack of communication is a big problem for some law firm clients. Yes, legal practices are very busy. They have lots of clients — not just you. However, before a lawyer signs on to take your case, they need to know if the firm has the capacity to handle it. There’s no excuse for not returning phone calls or emails within a reasonable amount of time.
Be aware that your calls might be returned by an assistant or paralegal — you might not always be able to get your lawyer on the phone. Especially if they’re traveling or engaged in a trial, they might not have a lot of time to return calls. But if they can delegate the calls to their assistants and someone is answering your questions and providing you with updates, that can suffice.
You don’t need to take legal advice from an assistant or paralegal. They should relay your question to your lawyer, and then relay the answer back to you if the lawyer doesn’t get back to you directly.
Still, you should never feel like you’re being left in the lurch or that you can’t get a response from your lawyer.
In addition, your lawyer should never be the reason why you fail to show up or are unprepared for a court date. If you’re not sure when or where you need to appear, your lawyer should provide this information to you in a timely manner so nothing slips through the cracks.
Reason #2: Your lawyer is disorganized or unprepared.
Put bluntly, is your lawyer’s behavior unprofessional?
Their time is money, but so is yours. If you have a meeting with your lawyer, there’s a good chance you took time off from work, secured childcare, or had other obligations that you changed or gave up in order to be at the meeting.
Your lawyer shouldn’t waste your time, be unprepared, or mishandle your funds or documents. Possibly the worst-case scenario is if your lawyer shows up unprepared to court because that can affect the outcome of your case or proceeding.
When you ask questions to your lawyer, they should have your file ready and organized. They should have copies of any checks you’ve written related to your case, evidence submitted or received as the result of an investigation, pleadings from the other parties (or their own), and any other material related to the proceeding. They might not have their hands on each document immediately, but they need to know where and how to locate it, whether they store items digitally or physically.
Reason #3: Your lawyer is incapable of handling your case.
What if they just don’t get it?
It takes a lot of time, effort, and studying to become a lawyer. But that doesn’t mean every lawyer understands every nuance of the law. If your case is a smaller one, it might be delegated to a newer attorney in the firm. It’s possible that person doesn’t have a strong grasp of the particular area of law that’s relevant.
The other thing that could happen is that as a case progresses, it could begin to involve areas of law outside your lawyer’s expertise. For example, what starts as a truck accident claim could become a product liability issue because of defective manufacturing of one part of the truck — and that might not be obvious when the lawyer takes on your case at the beginning.
If that happens, it’s the lawyer’s responsibility to either do the research in order to handle the case competently, or they need to get the advice of another lawyer who’s more well-versed in that area of law.
Reason #4: You disagree with your lawyer’s advice.
You retain legal counsel because you need advice.
However, the lawyer should still take your wishes into consideration.
The lawyer could be pressuring you to accept a settlement that you think is too low to cover your costs after an accident. Or, maybe you think taking a case to a judge and jury would be a good move but your lawyer is pushing you to settle.
Alternately, perhaps you want a quick settlement in order to avoid the courtroom, but your lawyer is discouraging that strategy.
Your lawyer likely knows the legal system in the community where you live, and they might have valid reasons why they think one approach is better than another, but ultimately it’s still up to you to make a decision — it’s your life, after all.
A lawyer is ethically bound to share any settlement offer with you. If the other party makes an offer, even if the lawyer knows it’s too low, they need to tell you that an offer was made.
If there’s a big decision to be made about the direction of your case, it’s reasonable to make a list of pros and cons, and talk it over with your lawyer. Your lawyer should also be able to adequately explain to you why they think you should follow their advice, and it shouldn’t be just because they want to close your case.
Reason #5: Unreasonable billing practices.
Before you hire an attorney, you’ll sign a contract that sets forth the lawyer’s fees. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they get paid a percentage of the damages you receive. However, they’re also going to charge you for additional expenses that come up while the case is in process.
You might not know upfront exactly what those fees are going to be, but when you receive a bill, the expenses should be reasonable.
For example, it doesn’t cost $20 to send a fax. In today’s world, most correspondence is by email — but even if a fax is necessary, it shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag. Likewise, a law firm shouldn’t charge you a paralegal’s hourly rate to deliver a letter to opposing counsel if it could’ve been mailed or sent by courier much less expensively. Some travel might be necessary for your lawyer to fully handle a legal matter, but there shouldn’t be a charge for a week-long stay at an expensive resort under the guise of working on your case.
Reason #6: Unethical behavior or misconduct.
Your lawyer has a responsibility to act in an ethical manner. Beyond that responsibility, they’ve actually taken an oath to uphold certain ethics.
If your lawyer has acted in the following ways, they might be breaching their code of ethics:
- Mishandling funds
- Breaking your attorney-client privilege (or confidentiality)
- Conflicts of interest
- Failing to inform you of settlement offers
- Asking you to do something that makes you uncomfortable or could be illegal
Reason #7: Legal malpractice.
Malpractice could be intentional or by accident.
If your lawyer has done anything that has cost you the ability to win or settle your case, or that had a detrimental effect on your proceeding, it could be considered malpractice.
Malpractice can also include a substantive error regarding the law or its interpretation, or a procedural error like failure to file a pleading or other document on time.
For example, if your lawyer knows when your accident happened and when the statute of limitations runs out, yet still fails to file a claim in the allotted time period, you might no longer be able to file the claim or have legal recourse.
Reason #8: Lack of dedication or compassion.
Your lawyer has a duty to pursue your legal action with zealous representation. That’s legal-speak for the concept that the lawyer should do everything that’s reasonably feasible to advocate for, or represent, their client. Almost every law student is taught about zealous representation in law school, but some might forget or become less motivated as the years go by.
The level of compassion you’re shown by your lawyer might depend on their personality, your personality, or the facts of the case. Some lawyers aren’t warm and fuzzy, but they still have an obligation to negotiate strategically with an insurance company or the opposing parties in order to get the compensation you need and deserve after an injury.
Your lawyer should not berate or belittle you, and they should not attempt to bully or coerce you into accepting a settlement or handling your case in a specific way.
If the evidence shows that the accident wasn’t the way you described it — if you were more at fault than you originally admitted, or if you weren’t truthful about the circumstances or your resulting condition — it could be difficult, if not impossible, for your lawyer to zealously represent you.
Your lawyer is also bound by the laws in your state and their code of ethics. You can’t expect them to lie, nor can you expect them to cover up evidence (or fabricate evidence). Doing so would put them in a position that could jeopardize their career, license, and reputation.
How to fire your lawyer
If you’ve determined that your relationship with your lawyer isn’t working out, or if you have other reasons why you need to hire a different lawyer, you can follow these steps to terminate your attorney-client relationship:
- Read the fine print on your contract for legal services. Find out what the termination clause says, if anything. If the termination clause includes a specific procedure for notice, timing, or anything else, follow the terms of the contract.
- Hire a new lawyer. You don’t want to be in the midst of a legal proceeding and have no lawyer, even if your current lawyer isn’t doing their job. Hire a new lawyer first, and then fire the old one.
- Write a termination letter. Any time you modify or terminate a contract, it must be in writing. Ideally, this should be a formal letter sent by certified mail to the lawyer’s office so you have proof of delivery. You must request that your file (including all documents, evidence, pleadings and other materials) is sent to your new attorney. Send full contact information for the new lawyer so that materials can be forwarded. If you paid a nonrefundable retainer fee, you likely won’t be able to recoup those funds.
- Notify the court. If your case is already filed within the court system, you (or your new attorney) will need to file notice with the court that you are now represented by new counsel. Your new attorney will file a “motion for substitution of counsel” and your old attorney will file a motion to withdraw.
If you owe money to the previous lawyer for expenses, they have the right to claim payment for those funds if they’re not being disputed. Pay off your balance immediately because the lawyer could hold your case files until they receive payment.
If you know your lawyer isn’t working for you, but you don’t have a second lawyer yet, please feel free to use the Enjuris Personal Injury Law Firm Directory to find a lawyer near you who can take your case.
What if my lawyer dosnt tell me of continuances so I show up a hr away for no reason there was no signed contract and he has had my date continued for around 6-12 months cuse he didn’t have full payment
Melissa Gold says
Hi, Lo. I’m sorry this is happening. A lawyer is obligated to communicate with their clients and to zealously represent your interests, which means they must do their best to represent you to the best of their abilities. If you feel that your lawyer isn’t communicating properly with you, let them know your concerns. If you’ve tried to contact them and can’t get a response, you might need to find a different lawyer who can help. Best of luck.
What if you dismissed your attorneg first. Tben they send you a Motion to Dismiss?
Bobba Fett says
Hello me and my wife were involved in a car accident in 2020, We chose the law firm to represent us. We treated at Doctors it was determined that my wife had permanent injuries. I had injuries also be they weren’t permanent. We were assigned a lawyer, that lawyer was fired so we were assigned another lawyer after about 4 months later we were assigned another lawyer. We have been in the discovery phase of this lawsuit for over a year. The first lawyer we were assigned to told me that the defendant was ready to get this past him and was ready to settle…like I said he was fired t so that was the end of that It makes no sense to me whatsoever that we would still be in the discovery phase especially because of the defendants.? I really don’t 100% trust this people. what should I do?
Lawyer accepted my case for discrimination on contingency basis over 60 days ago (SoL for case will be up in 40 days), and hasn’t filed the case or written a draft of the complaint for me to see yet, and keeps asking for all my files that are over two years old and passed the SoL, and will not give me a timeline of when he will file or amount of money he’d seek for damages. He now only has his assistant respond to my once a week email to him and does not return my calls, he just sends me a two line email and says another two weeks to file, but never talks to me about the case to be filed. I also found out he’d been sued two years ago for malpractice over similar issues that I am now experiencing.
Melissa Gold says
Hi, Thomas. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry that you feel that you’re being treated poorly. If you’re concerned about missing deadlines and losing your ability to sue, you definitely want to find a lawyer who can take this on and has the time and attention to give your case. Your lawyer has an obligation to communicate with you about your proceedings. You might consider keeping a log of your attempts to reach your lawyer (dates of emails, phone calls, etc.) in case you miss a deadline and need to find someone else to handle your case. Best of luck.
I had an accident in 2018. Once I finished my therapy sessions I reached out to the law firm and notify them. Around February 2019, I hadn’t heard from the lawyer and reached out, they claimed that the doctor office never sent my file…I called the doctor’s office and they said the lawyer office never requested it. So after that was taken care of the paralegal told me she needed so.e other paperwork from the my ER visit and previous workers comp claim and asked me to get it. After that the law office claimed that they had not heard back from the insurance office…this went on until 2020…in Feb of 2020 the law office said that the insurance company wanted my 5 years medical record from my primary doctor to see if i had ever complained about neck or back issues..which I haven’t and I got the records and sent it to the attorney’s office. Last thing I heard that they were trying to office me 4000. Before this I never went over a game plan with them…and I didn’t know that the law office only requested 17000… if they would have asked me I would have told them 50000. I have 2 herniation discs that came from this accident. I had a MRI done to prove it. And plus I now (2years later) have finger numbness when I sleep which come from the herniated disc. I email and call the law office with no reply for months… Monday I finally got in touch with them and the said they haven’t heard from the insurance office. Is this a case in which I can switch attorney’s?
Ian Pisarcik says
Thank you for your comment.
An attorney should always go over a demand in order to get your approval before submitting the demand. Without knowing the details of your case, it’s difficult to determine whether your attorney failed to do this or whether the delay in processing the claim is the attorney’s fault or the fault of the insurer.
With all that being said, you ALWAYS have the right to switch attorneys. If you don’t think your attorney is a good fit, tell your attorney that you’re seeking different representation and reach out to a new attorney.
I have a similar situation but my attorney refuses to reimburse me for my out-of-pocket expenses which total up to $4,000. His response is below, any ideas why I should not get reimbursed before the remainder is split?
My firm has a contractual right to collect $16,022.00 in attorney’s fees in addition to the case development expenses. I have reduced my fees to $4,325.90 which is a 73% reduction of my fees – that means my firm is getting 27 cents on the dollar. Frenkel and Frenkel’s offer was $7,600.00 when they referred it to me.
You had well over $100,000 in past medical billing and my firm worked it tail off to get the medicals reduced.
This case was extremely difficult and I have done everything possible to put money in everyone’s pocket. You are also getting more money that my firm and I have to pay Frenkel & Frenkel 1/3rd of the attorney’s fees I collected.
Honestly, I am shocked that you are being so ungrateful. Not a thank you for reducing, not a thank you for breaking our backs begging for reductions for months, rather, just threats and demands.
If you prefer, I am under no obligation to reduce my fees and can simply keep the remaining funds under the contract as you did receive medical treatment in excess of $100,000.00.
Now, I would never do that to you because you were the person who was hurt, but I am not negotiating with you as I have a business to run and this is not a charity. I have lost enough money and time on this case and a thank you would have been nice.
You check has been issued and you can pick it up whenever you want. The numbers will not change.
Basically same situation for me except I received a settlement that was higher than I thought and my whole situation was made so much easier because of the attorney I had.
Ian Pisarcik says
Thanks for the response. Sometimes, the right lawyer makes all the diference.
Lawyer didn’t show up for trial, and came after proceedings was over. Blamed me for retaining her late, and said as long as she showed up, I should be fine with it. Said and apology wasn’t warranted because traffic is out of her control. But said it was preliminary and that I have unrealistic expectations. None of this was stated when I retained her. Confidence is loss. She was not understanding or apologetic and showed no empathy.
Ian Pisarcik says
I’m so sorry to hear this. It sounds like the relationship is not a good one and it might be in your best interest to retain a different attorney.
I got a lawyer to help me remove charges from my brother that were untrue i told him that the officer who has the case would be in office on 4th of july officer says he never called him back or wont answer his calls i didn’t sign a contract but I did pay $2550 up front can I just tell him I no longer want to work with him?
Melissa Gold says
Hi, Alejandra. You always have the option to change lawyers if you feel that the person representing you (or, in this case, your brother) isn’t doing the job as well as you’d like. With respect to what you’ve already paid, you might not be able to recover that money. Normally, I’d say you’d have to look at the terms of the contract (retainer agreement) with the lawyer in order to see if there’s any way to recoup that money, but since there’s no contract, I’m not sure what you agreed to. It’s hard to say what’s happening, and there might be more going on behind the scenes that you’re not aware of. You are always welcome to seek the advice of a different attorney.
J. Wiszniewski says
I was terminated from Airlines because, in hotel room I stayed on my layover a singular sprinkler went off while i was resting. Hotel was under heavy construction and according to my termination letter, hotel sent colaborate false report to my airline that “2 witnesses saw me placing coat hunger on this sprinkler….” I was never allowed to see any evidence used against me. After a Grivience process I hired Lawyer who was very enthusiastic to take my case. We signed the contract. Plan was , to take , first hotel to court, demand all reports and confront allegedly witnesses and with this information , to sue airlines.. After paying Lawyer, agreed retainer, communication dropped. Sometimes for a weeks I couldn’t get hold of my Lawyer. From my understanding Pennsylvania laws allow 1 year status of limitation for any claims against Hotels in Pennsylvania and 2 years for airlines His partner who is paralegal would tell me thing like” don’t panic we have 2 years for hotel”. About 2 years after hiring that lawyer, Hotel changed franchise and name and all management, etc, and my lawyer said he was unable to find a new owners??? So then we had no other choice but sue airlines. The lawyer would consistently mixed facts and we have understanding that any answers to a court would go first to me and my husband who’s understanding of English is excellent, he was born here, not me, he would recommend changes. At first my lawyer would honored that. The most important letter ; recommendation of a Judge to dismiss case against airline, (time sensitive ), I received after my lawyer already answered without confirming with me first. The answer to the Judge was so poor, in last possible moment, that of course my lawsuit against airline was dismissed. After spending about 25 K. Now al of a sudden, my lawyer is telling me that my case against hotel is going and is looking good, motion to dismiss supposedly was denied to my favor . My lawyer never sent any documents to proof that. He wants another 13K. I asked him since he feels so good about case against hotel , to renigotate our contract and change to contiguous fees since I do not have any funds. He said he can not do that and will continue to charge me with interest for late fees.
My question is can I fired him based on above and not be responsible for money he is asking?
I know that any cooperation who change owners and name usually is not responsible for any old owners debts, etc? Can someone help me please, thank you
My lawyer do not keep me informed by my case I ask to see her or make an appointment or talk on the phone it away she will call you but never do I don’t no what the problem until it to late. And then I can’t do anything about it. Please help me .
Melissa Gold says
Hello, Woods. Your lawyer has an obligation to communicate with you about developments in your case, inform you of important dates, etc. If you can’t get your lawyer to communicate with you, you should find another lawyer who will. You definitely don’t want to miss court dates or filing deadlines because the lawyer isn’t keeping you informed.
You are welcome to try the Enjuris law firm directory if you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer. If you’re looking for some other type of representation, you might wish to look up your state or county bar association for more information on finding a new lawyer.
I want to fire my lawyer because he calls me names He calls me a liar. He treats me like I’m no good and scum. He’s incompetent. He affirms that Valium should be out of your system in three or four days and says his expert says that but I’m still detoxing from it. I quit July 25th 2020 and it still shows up in my system over 2 weeks later. My lawyer doesn’t believe me but if you go online everywhere the truth is there. Valium takes longer, it takes weeks and he won’t believe me and I don’t have faith in him I don’t think he’s competent because he can’t even go online and see the truth for himself and it’s stressing me out and I don’t need any more trouble than I’m already dealing with.
Ian Pisarcik says
I’m sorry that you are having a difficult time with your lawyer. It sounds like switching lawyers is probably a good idea. I wish you luck in finding the right lawyer for your case.
My new divorce lawyer has taken a position with firm I just fired. What should I do? Is it possible for them to effectively represent me?
My attorney just dropped my case after sitting on it for 4 months. She said the reason is that they don’t feel they can get a better offer for me. They did not run this by me until they decided to drop me. I never knew of the offer. They never spoke with a single witness or asked for their statements. Now other attorneys won’t take my case bc someone else already worked on it! Do I have to tell a new lawyer that an old one dropped this case?
This is against a major chain. Dollar Tree
Help Please says
My attorney is currently involved in a case concerning me. Upfront of course, I had to provide him with a sizable retainer fund for this “project”. At this time, I know he has made 2 withdrawals from these funds. I want to know the remaining balance before I fire him. How do I go about getting this information?
Ian Pisarcik says
You’re entitled to an accounting from your attorney (i.e., a billing statement, including the remaining balance). If your attorney refuses to provide you with a billing statement after you request one in writing, I would recommend reaching out to the discipline section of your local state bar organization to discuss the possibility of filing a bar complaint.
What if my attorney has lied to me over email? Every time we get an initial hearing scheduled, it gets cancelled because the other party is avoiding the process server. My attorney told me service isn’t an issue, and that she’s done everything necessary. I called the judge’s clerk to confirm that after months of delays and numerous unanswered emails, and the clerk said that the hearings keep getting cancelled because of lack of service. I’ve asked my attorney for about 6 months to publish service in the paper if she won’t answer the door for the process server, which she simply won’t do months after I was invoiced for it and paid for it. I’m leaving out the most damning details because…the internet. Is this simply her failing to zealously represent me, or does this arise to malpractice or misconduct? What recourse do I have? I am suffering significantly opportunity-wise due to her incompetence on this action.
Ian Pisarcik says
You always have the option to terminate the relationship and switch attorneys. With that being said, you may want to try to resolve the issue by using the Georgia State Bar’s client assistance program. Here’s the information: https://www.gabar.org/forthepublic/fileacomplaint.cfm
A co-worker suggested a lawyer (his friend) to represent my husband in an automobile accident that flipped his work truck when a woman ran a red light. We were planning on taking the case to court so a deposition was given by the opposing lawyer. My husband has never given one and did not know what to expect and was caught off guard and we felt it went very badly-although his attorney said it went ok. We found out that his attorney told the co-worker that the deposition cost my husband 20-30 thousand dollars. She never told us. Now we have a trust issue. Should we pay for services rendered and get another attorney?
Ian Pisarcik says
If I’m reading your comment correctly, you’re suggesting that your husband’s attorney billed your husband $30,000 to defend a single deposition. This is extremely high. In what sounds like a fairly simple car accident case, defending a deposition should cost closer to $1,500.
I would recommend discussing your concerns with the attorney. If you’re still not satisfied or want a second opinion, you could reach out to the “client assist program” at your local state bar. Here’s the information: https://www.gabar.org/forthepublic/fileacomplaint.cfm
I believe she meant that her co worker is friends with husbands attorney. the attorney told the mutual friend that (paraphrasing) “had the husbands poor performance at the disposition hearing cost him approx. 20-30k dollars). While at the same time telling the husband that “all went well with the disposition.” Now the wife is looking for a way to re-do the deposition hearing.
This is lolable. Husband should have been prepared.
Frank Torres says
What if my attorneys office manager is very rude, I had to stop her from speaking to me a certain way. How does that work if I fire the team??
Ian Pisarcik says
I’m sorry your attorney’s office manager is rude. I would certainly mention this to your attorney and hopefully your attorney can resolve the issue. With that being said, sometimes clients change lawyers based on the attorney’s support staff. If you need a new lawyer, you can find one near you using our free directory.
I was in a non fatal bike accident. Me being the one riding the bike this was in March I hired a lawyer in the same week that I got hit by the car. Now it is september and there has been no movement on my case call the lawyer and I get either his voicemail or excuses about how he can’t get contact with the insurance company. I don’t know what to do. Do I fire him? Or do I just continue on waiting for the case to be resolved in his time.?
Melissa Gold says
Hi, Rose. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this situation. You’re correct to be concerned about timing because if you miss filing deadlines, the court can refuse to hear your case. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is 2 years from the date of the injury. However, there are good reasons to move quickly — more accurate witness testimony, fresher evidence, and other things. Still, the court system can take a long time and the lawyer might be working on the case, waiting for responses from the other party, or there could be other aspects that are slowing down the process.
That said, the lawyer is responsible for communicating with you about what’s happening with your claim. If he’s saying he can’t get in touch with the insurance company, that should be a red flag. The lawyer’s role is to advocate for you — the client — and to get results. If the insurance company isn’t responsive, the lawyer should be able to reach higher within the company or work with the adjuster to move the claim forward. Alternately, if the lawyer really can’t get a response, he should be pursuing other legal options in order to continue your claim.
March to September isn’t an excessive amount of time in the court system, especially because things are slower in a lot of respects because of the pandemic. But your lawyer should be communicating with you and keeping you informed. If he can’t work with the insurance company, ask what your other options are. You can get a new lawyer anytime. If you feel that your lawyer isn’t communicating with you, isn’t pursuing your case to his full ability, or you’re just not happy with his advice or representation, you’re always welcome to seek other counsel.The Enjuris personal injury law firm directory is one resource you can use for finding other lawyers in your area. Best of luck!
Vanessa George says
Hi, I was in a accident on July 7, no one got hurt but it was a serious accident, I got an Attorney, he’s not keeping in touch with me, I tried talking to the other person insurance company. But they won’t talk to me because I got a attorney, but she did tell me they are investigating, because they got a witness that someone else was driving my car, I asked my attorney let go to court but no response, the other insurance company sent me a settlement letter but when I tried to talk to the adjuster about it she told me to disregard the letter it shouldn’t been sent, they’re still investigating.do you think I should try to get another attorney?
Ian Pisarcik says
Unfortunately, attorneys are busy and insurance investigations move slowly. Nevertheless, your attorney should be able to respond to you within a few days. I would recommend sending your attorney a letter detailing your concerns. If your attorney doesn’t respond adequately to the letter, it may be time to look for a different attorney.
Dawn allen says
I have a lawyer for a car accident I was in. I wasn’t a driver of either vehicle but was in the back seat of the car that was hit and had to get stitches in my forehead. I had trouble getting the insurance company to even acknowledge me so I hired a lawyer. Small things started being weird to me as soon as I was assigned a paralegal. It took four or five months to get my three medical bills, and I was told at first I wasn’t allowed to get them for her and then four months in, she told me it might be easier if I did because no one would return her calls and then suddenly she got them two days later. Then moving forward my lawyer sent the demand letter and told me they had thirty days to respond. 6 weeks passed and no word from my lawyer, I asked what was going on they said still waiting. I waited two more weeks making it two months and then the paralegal said thirty days was really a jumping off point and they just started calling them to try to rush it after that amount of time. Finally got word on an offer and my lawyer told me it wasn’t smart to take it and wants to go to court but he told me it could take two to three years before it got to a courtroom and I told him I would rather accept the offer, that I could actually really use the settlement money now. His response was that he couldn’t accept the offer in good conscience without trying to get it raised one last time and told me he would make one phone call and try to get it raised but if she wouldn’t raise it that he’d accept the offer in the same phone call. That’s been a month ago now. I asked what was going on three weeks into the month and the paralegal told me that the insurance adjuster won’t answer or return their calls. It’s been another week since then and to me it seems weird that throughout this process seemingly no one returns their calls for a month or months at a time. Is this normal?
Ian Pisarcik says
Litigation is a slow process, but the behavior you described is not normal.
Importantly, an attorney has an ethical duty to accept a settlement offer if the client wants to accept the offer.
I would recommend looking for a new attorney (you can use our free online directory if you don’t know where to start). In addition, you might consider filing a complaint with the Tennessee State Bar.
I was involved in a rear ended car accident. Got pretty banged up and spent a couple of days in the hospital. Hired an attorney that visited my home. We went over a few things about the accident. And I signed a contingency letter without reading it, because of my concussion. I never received a copy and keep calling him, but he never at the office and I’m always talking to the paralegal. When asked about him she gives me messages from another attorney that I didn’t hire. And she never calls back to answer questions. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but insurance company giving me the run around about my car that was a total loss. And I need answers. Should I be concerned?
Ian Pisarcik says
It’s common for more than one lawyer in a law firm to work on your case. What’s more, two weeks isn’t a long time to wait in the legal world. Nevertheless, I understand your concerns and frustrations and your lawyer should do. If you can’t get your lawyer to return your calls, I would recommend sending the lawyer a letter explaining that you’re concerned about your case and the level of communication and that you would like to meet to discuss the issues and get a status update. If your lawyer doesn’t schedule a meeting, it may be time to look for another lawyer.
Sasha B says
If I want to fire my paid lawyer because he is not returning my phone calls can I get a refund?
Good day, I was in an accident on December of 2020. I have a torn rotator cup, some damage to my back, neck and wrist. I was at a stop light when some one hit me in the back of my car. I had about $8,000 worth of damages to my vehicle. Now I have been contacting the attorneys office regarding my case and getting the run around regarding my case. For months they stated to me they have not received my medical records. Finally, they came to me stating they received my medical records and stated the insurance on offered $15,000 which does not make me very happy being they get 33% and my medical bills are about $35,ooo. The attorney said that they are still negotiating and if it goo to court they would have to get help from outside from a litigation firm and it will cost me an additional 7%. What I would like to know if this is normal in a personal injury case? Also it was stated to me that it may also take up to another year. I’m a little confused.
K Page says
I have a work comp case. I have only spoken with the paralegal after my initial contact with the attorney. When I have questions that should be answered my attorney he never calls. My fear came true at my mediation hearing, my attorney knew very little about the case. It was obvious he hadn’t even reviewed the documents. The other side try to give a lowball offer and my attorney didn’t speak up or advise me. He has done a very poor job of handling my case. For example he suggested I change my medication to a cheaper generic medication that doesn’t work well so that the settlement would be higher. In the end I refused the lowball offer and the inadequately funded Medical set-aside. I want to fire my attorney but I fear the cost involved in doing so this late stage! But I’m even more afraid to keep him!
Ian Pisarcik says
I’m so sorry your in this situation. When you fire an attorney, the attorney is required to turn over your file to your new attorney. So, with respect to the cost concerns, your new attorney won’t be starting your case from scratch.
S. OBrien says
I had a Family Law Matter where my Attorney Failed to review or present to me the FOAH written by Opposing Counsel, after a hearing. As a result the OC submitted to court without objection with incorrect arrears and visitation information that was adopted by the court and cost me significantly. Only found out this happened when ex filed an RFO 5 months later. Attorney really dropped the ball and am trying to find Legal Malpractice attorney and a New Family Law Attorney to undo the damage. Any advise would be appreciated.
I have a child support modification case. I terminated my attorney last month. However, he says he still is representing me, because there has been no ruling on the termination (by the court). I called the court and they said they won’t rule, because it isn’t ripe yet. We have a settlement conference on Monday at the CS office, (not the court) and the attorney says he has to show up. Is this true? I don’t want him to show up.
my lawyer accepter my case with confidence… knowing she was incompetent and adveritzed and gave perception other wise. my case went downhill faster and faster within a month,. she jepordized more sutible options for me and broke confidentialitly. theres so much more…… idk how to procced and and now i being forced to take a plea where there were better options,,, i need help
Ian Pisarcik says
You always have the right to move on from your attorney. Additionally, you might consider filing a complaint with the state bar association. The bar association can help you resolve your grievance and may discipline the attorney.
jack thomas says
my lawyer claimed prosecutor wouldn’t return calls to negotiate before court date. isn’t he obligated to make an appointment with prosecutor? it seems like he said oh well prosecutor must be busy?
Ian Pisarcik says
Your lawyer is required to act with “reasonable diligence.” If you believe your lawyer is acting improperly, you can file a grievance with the State Bar of Texas. The State Bar of Texas will investigate the issue and help resolve it.
My granddaughter is in cps. Care. They hate me because i will not let them get away with anything. I am an intervenor in the case. I have asked my attorney to present evidence that i have complained to the office of consumer relations and he refuses to present this evidence to the judge telling me “it’s a waste of their time”. Can i fire him for ineffective counsel? Can. i get my remaining retainer back?
Ian Pisarcik says
You always have the right to fire your attorney. Whether or not you can get your retainer back depends on the work your attorney has completed and the language in your attorney-client agreement. The Texas State Bar may be able to help you resolve the issue through their grievance process.
Hi, my son and I was involved in a auto accident 3/2020. We hired. Attorney to represent us. Fast forward to 1/2021. Almost a year has gone by. And he claimed we settled in November. But I just received a letter from the other car insurance company that they sent our attorney the settlement check back in October. Can we still fire him for just holding our check. And not letting us know he settled with out notify us.
Ian Pisarcik says
Your attorney has an obligation to tell you about a settlement in a reasonable amount of time. Keep in mind, however, that it often takes a while to receive and deposit a settlement check.
The Georgia State Bar has a Client Assistance Program that can help you resolve issues with your attorney. Firing your attorney at this point probably wouldn’t help much since the case has been resolved. Nevertheless, the Client Assistance Program will discuss your options with you.
Worried Guy says
I am in a workman’s comp case, my attorney did not tell me I wouldn’t get money from workman’s comp after I was put on permanent and stationary status. Well the dr put 4 hours of work on my restrictions and she failed to tell me about me not getting paid for the other 4 hours, can I fire her for this?
Hi was wondering 2years ago i had to go to drug rehab so i was told to file chapter 13 in bankruptcy court my sister in law found a local lawyer to handle the case.And so the nightmare begins after the hearing that he did not bother showing up at I haven’t seen him since So i received a certified letter in the mailbox saying i have 30days to pay my house in full or they will foreclosure on my property because i have missed my 3rd and last court date and the judge ruled in favor of the bank??,,im like nobody told me they said your lawyer spoke on your behalf but i don’t have a lawyer they told me that was my problem What if anything can i do please help me……..
I hire my lawyer for a child support case, but after sometime the mother of my child call me and tells that she want to drop the case and finished with it, we get to an agreement about our child, but when I told my lawyer she’s telling me that to prepare and file a mediation for us, I would have to pay some money ( my lawyer doesn’t tell me exactly how much money is going to cost me) after that i call the mother of my child againg and explained to her what i was told, and she told me that since we already have an agreement why I don’t just refuse to use my lawyer and just go the two of us to mediation and that it should be less expensive, my question is: this is something that I can do, I already have spend over $3000 in lawyer and if legally I can just go to mediation with her and save some money it will be awesome, can I do this? Can I tell my lawyer that I just want to go to mediation with the mother of my child to avoid her expensive fees? Please help. Thank you very much.
I have a Workman’s Comp attorney and things were just fine until this week. I have not even returned to work. My MMI was reached the end of Dec. I have 2 restrictions based on the FCE test. I am waiting for the doctor’s Disabilty Evaluation Test results that will not be finished until Feb. My lawyer contacted me and told me the emploers lawyers wanted to settle because end of year, He wants me to settle before end of the month. I told him I wanted to wait for my doctor and what about the possibility of perm partial dissability. He told me I would not get it and I need to settle now. He said he was telling them he wanted 35%. Telling me that a dr will never go over 18%. I told him I want to wait and he got very angry. At one point it was a yelling match. He called me later in the day with an offer from their lawyers for $50,000.00 he said it was 24.5%. I told him no and he again got mad and told me I was making a mistake. I tried to tell him about paperwork I was waiting for from work about a job offer had not came in the mail and he said “whatever” I can not believe someone would conduct themselves like this and I have alot of concerns going forward. Thank you
My lawyer isn’t experienced in criminal defense law to properly represent me. Besides he doesn’t return phone calls and hasn’t done what I want him to do. I paid a retainer and it says no refunds. How do I cancel out agreement and get part of all of the money back?
Ian Pisarcik says
I’m sorry you are having trouble with your attorney.
An attorney-client agreement is a binding contract. However, there may be a way to get back your funds if the attorney behaved improperly. I would recommend contacting the Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program established by the New York State Unified Court System. For information about the program, you may call 877-FEES-137 (877-333-7137) or visit http://www.nycourts.gov/admin/feedispute/index.shtml.
Hello. Our lawyer terminated the zoom trial before it was over, after being reprimanded in court for interrupting the judge. We missed the end of the proceedings, not to mention the lawyer made us look unprofessional to the court via their actions. This was for a civil case.
We need to terminate. The lawyer filed one file to the court before the pre-trial, a letter of intent. We would like to know if asking for all of our money back is justifiable. Thanks.
Melissa Gold says
Hello, there. Unfortunately, the pandemic has added a lot of new dimensions to legal proceedings that we never dealt with before, not least of which is relying on technology like Zoom to have court proceedings. However, your lawyer still has a duty to properly represent your interests. If you believe that your lawyer is not properly representing you, you are certainly always able to seek a new lawyer. As far as getting money back, your lawyer would be entitled to keep payment for services already provided, depending on your retainer agreement. I think it would be wise for you to review your contract (retainer agreement) and see if there are any provisions that would address this issue.
Got a question I was involved in a car wreck 2018 a car hit my truck in the rear it was there fault
Been dealing with this law firm almost 3 in a half years my case have change hands about 5 times the lawyers that was handling my case all have got fire or left no Communication with the lawyer don’t no what’s going on with my case we done a mediation on 2021 on a Settlement we verbal agreement on but I have not sign any documents yet it was a zoom meeting is it to late to hire a new lawyer
Melissa Gold says
Hi John. The Tennessee statute of limitations (deadline) for filing a personal injury lawsuit is 1 year from the date of the injury. However, if your law firm filed the case within the year from the injury, and it’s pending in the court system, that should be fine for meeting the requirement. A lawyer has a responsibility to meet filing deadlines, court dates, and keep a client informed about developments in the case. If you believe that your lawyer isn’t meeting their duties, you are always able to seek other counsel. Find a new lawyer, explain the situation, and that lawyer can request a copy of your file from the previous law firm. If you need to look for a new lawyer, you can use the Enjuris law firm directory. Best of luck.
Bolin zhou says
I have been thinking about to work on my own visa renewal, because it’s once every three year renewal visa status that can be continued repetitively, and I have been thinking that since I has my attorney’s service help to get my visa the first time, and I kind know how the whole process works, also I have requested a copy of the application case file that my attorney submitted to USCIS on my behalf, and I am wondering if this is something that can be work with and be re-edited by the applicant to use it again for renewal? so I have let my attorney know that if I should represent myself, and my attorney wrote back that If you would like to represent yourself for this application, you can do that, but please note that I will not be able provide any services for the application or answer any questions/emails regarding the petition; our attorney/client relationship will be terminated until such time that you engage our services again.
Considering that once we worked, Is my attorney obligate to keep advising me and advocate me for this matter? Is this breaching code of ethics, considering unethical the former client, to their disadvantage?
In a dissolution case, the attorney/client agreement was signed on December 14th with a prepaid retainer of $10,000. Several days later, I was I informed the office would be closed from the 18th until after the holidays. Additionally, he would be out of state on vacation until January 11th. I finally met with my attorney the day before depositions were being taken from both parties. The following day, January 21st, was a court ordered mediation where my attorney informed me to accept the settlement agreement so that the divorce would be finalized immediately. He stated that we had 30 days to change any stipulations of the agreement, including waiving spousal support. He never filed a motion to set it aside and continued to lead me to believe changes could be made even after the deadline. He charged me an additional $7500 for email correspondence and updates over the next 9 months until I terminated our client/attorney agreement in October of the same year. I received invoices only upon request (once in April, next in October).
what happens m during mediation in divorce, is not protecting th client rather trying to convince me after my lawyer went into the break up room with the mediator and returned to me like arguing to accept what mediator says? can I change the lawyer at this stage , as the mediation failed because i did not agree the injustice being made on me that day by my attorney and the mediator.
Kenny g says
I was arrested for [email protected] with 50,000 bond the clerk of.court lied said she gave me verbal court date no paper trail on 2013 charge of larceny which I went to court on and was dismissed they come arrest me. After. I bond out and charge me.with failure to appear 40,000 bond now the failure to appear has disappeared off court calender but I’m still on 40,000 bond I’m being settup need help
I was kicked out from a restaurant because a new manager who works there was totally ignorant about the laws and he did not accept my service dog inside. He even called the police on me , that incident caused me great pain, that was my favorite restaurant, I got so depressed for being excluded from that place . My lawyer he discussed with me he will go after 40 thousand dollars, for emotional damages and discriminations, but at the end, he is only offering me 1500 dollar, which he will take half, so I will get only 700 dollars. I believe that is an insult to me and to everybody that has a disability, The restaurant is is a billionaire corporation and I really think that this lawyer accepted, behind my back, and he cheating me, or even if that not really is the case, he would be the worse lawyer ever , no lawyer make the client to wait 2 years and the end offered him 700 dollars, that is insane. So I would like to know if that is enough reason to fire my lawyer? ( That I don’t agree with the settlement?) In your post you said that we must hired a new lawyer first ,but in the state I am I can’t no discuss my case with any lawyer if I don’t fire my old lawyer first.
I was in a car accident 2 years ago in April my time is up to settle in about a week or so and every time I call to settle they tell me they’re working on it and have some bills that they’re trying to gather. All the medical bills have been payed I don’t understand the stalling my time is up.
Angie king says
I got hit on the freeway went to a lawyer he took my case I needed injections on my neck and lower back I was diagnosed surgical and I told my lawyer I wanted surgery but he went ahead and didn’t do it . he put his amount that he wanted and didn’t leave my case open threw the insurance for my surgery. I told him about it again and now. He’s bein really rude to me he cusses Do I have to sign the paperwork from the check he received.
Delano Smith says
I was a passenger in an auto accident. The driver was at fault. I wasn’t seriously injured, I began to suffer pain and soreness several days later. Contacted a law firm. A lawyer came to my residence to consult with me. The consultation was more of a presentation of his representation. The guy had a ton of confidence and somewhat arrogant. I was impressed and signed a contract without reading it. I was told to go to a certain emergency rm. I was told to go to a certain pain doctor. I had an MRI . So in total I visited the doctor four times receiving two injections because they elevated my glucose. I informed my attorney about it but he submitted a demand letter, which was not discussed with me, based on the MRI report The first offer was 95 hundred. I was advised to reject the offer and I did. The second offer was 15,100. When asked how much would be my portion, my lawyer said”154.00″. I was upset and wanted an explanation. He said my medical expenses were 31,000, but he could get them reduced to 3 or 4 thousand. Well if that were so, why would I get literally nothing? I got my head together and did research about personal injury cases. I learned about lop letters, negotiations, case value calculations ,and why doctors inflate medical expenses. I wrote my attorney a letter expressing the belief that his medical bedfellows and the firm financial interest was in the forefront of his representation . However he don’t see seem to be actively negotiating because I haven’t heard from him since February. The duration of my treatment was short and 154.00 was not my fair share of the second offer. Should I terminate the contract and retain another lawyer?
John Watkins says
Hello, i first had a public defender attorney appointed to me by the court when first dealing with a case i was dealing with,
midway through the case i just straight forward said out loud to the judge
” i no longer want this public defender representing me in this case or any other case i may have in the future” Then as i finished saying that a different public defender in the courtroom approached me and said that he would represent me from then on, so i agreed to that and said okay to the new public defender. So a month goes by and the old one shows up for a different case i had to deal with even though i clearly stated on record i did not want him having anything to do with me or any future cases i may have and also had already been assigned a new public defender.
is there any thing i can do about this legally?
Ian Pisarcik says
To fire your public defender, you’ll need to file what is called a “Marsden motion” with the court. I would recommend talking to your attorney about how to file the motion, or talking with the court clerk.
jane doe says
well I’m considering firing my personal injury attorney. I was hurt working on someone’s home fell and got seriously hurt. its now 28 months after the fact and besides initial treatment and surgery at hospital i haven’t been able to get medical care. the titanium plate was supposed to be out 6 months after surgery, now 2 years later its causing me constant pain and discomfort and I’m told by Medicare its not life threating so no surgery. besides doing my own physical therapy and being penny less for over 2 years now im frustrated text go un answered for over a month now. i don’t know what to do I’m at my wits end, 28 months i have been basically in hell, the worse part is there is no end in sight. I understand people are busy, but at what point does that excuse not work anymore? am i not a person suffering? i have lost my career, personal relationships and all of my belongings besides clothes selling them to pay bills. Ill be 29 next month and I’m living with my mother and penniless felling more and more hopeless everyday.
Ian Pisarcik says
I’m sorry you are having trouble with your attorney.
You always have the right to fire your attorney and hire a new attorney. It sounds like that might be the best option here. You can find a new attorney using our free online directory. If you think you may qualify for free legal help, you can contact the New York State Bar.
I have been going through a custody battle for 3 years with my attorney and have concerns about the alcohol consumption of my child’s father and it is also in our temporary order that he may not drink. I have sent several of videos and pictures to my lawyer with dates of him shotgunning beers and drinking hard liquor while caring for my son. While talking to my attorney today after halting visitation because of safety concerns he tells me that it may be best to let him have him during the day for 8 hours on his birthday. My attorney questioned how I knew he drinks and I replied that I had sent him all the evidence. He said he hadn’t looked at any text messages or videos that I had sent because he waits until closer to trial to review this stuff and my 4 year old son has also expressed concerns about seeing his dad. Is this normal??
Kate smith says
I hired a lawyer moths ago. He’s been paid 3 thousand dollars, It is a possession charge. Case that kept getting continued. I never once seen him in person to talk. When there was specified phone consults I would call and he would not be there. . I didn’t even know they were gonna reduce charges till right before and I wasn’t really sure if it was the right thing to do. I went to court and I told judge I was unsure and the prosecutor took the deal off the table. I didn’t know that would happen. Now the only thing my lawyer keeps telling me when he finally answers my emails is that the prosecutors don’t want to work with me. He won’t tell me anything else, not what to do or what to excpect.. he said to me once after court when he finally answered that I was playing games which made me upset cause he was assuming I’m a bad person and I’m not I just want to make sure .You know this is my life I’m considering .This to me was rude and not professional because all I was doing is wanting to make sure I was doing the right thing because I help take care of my grandkids and daughter that has cancer and they need me I honestly wasn’t playing a game with none. .
Alex R says
I have a workers comp case, initially the insurance company accepted my case, I was thougt to have had a sprained knee after an ER x-ray after slipping at the job. I under went PT, two months in an no progress I was referred for an MRI, which showed quad tendon rupture, a referral to an surgeon, it was back on, now back to PT, This is about 3 months in, not much progress made, About 4 mo’s in I hire an attorney, about 7 mo’s in the tendon ruptures again . . .the surgeon, waited about 2 months before restarting PT after another surgery, a little progress made, about 20 mo’s in quad tendon works about 1/4 as before, the hamstring about 1/3 as before, cannot bear weight on left leg to lift or squat, jerkings happens consistent with nervous problems, My back pain continues . . . Even after PT, now. The payments from insurance stopped, they 24 mons in want to close the claim But I have complained my back and other leg issues from the start and throughout including loss of urine/bowel sensation and numbess and electric sensation, As I look back, I really interacted mostly with the para, and may have only talked to my attorney a hand full of time. I imagine I overlooked it because, the doc had not finished or labeled me as mmi, now I think the doc, the insurance comp and my lawyer are all on the take. Now, my lawyer does not think I have further injury, as they have closed the case,as of current, and my lawyer mimics all of their talking points, it is as if they will not order the MRI of the region I claim is affecting me. In desperation, I self order an MRI of the affected area, hamstring, to show severe atrophy, and it did but just before the claim closure my lawyer dismissed the MRI, as not substantial enough, and recommend I prepare for work which IME and my doctor’s have cleared me for. They of course disagreed on type of restrictions. IME says none, my doc said sitting jobs only. So I am awaiting Land I to pass judgements on an issues or two, but my main concerns are that it seems that I am being railroaded, by all parties and no one not even my attorney cares or will litigate. They are hand picking facts, and then using them against me. When I show facts, like MRIs, they ignore it or say the doctor did not change your restrictions so it doesn’t matter, or I have doctor’s visits where the doctor is not even prepared or hasn’t previewed the MRIs and gives bogus doctor’s notes
and it appears that when I’m in pain, no MRI are approved by the insurance. My legal team appears dormit simply awaiting my dimise. And two additional, it seems a PI was hired to follow me which preceded my cut, and my attorney charged my for something I specifically asked them not to pursue from my doc who is ambiguous at the least. I overlooked this about 15 mo’s in. So now I think the money stopping may be the well has run dry and my attorney is going for easier pickings? Maybe it’s time for new replacement
my atty advised a chapter 7 for me. prior to signing he collected and excepted only the information from the creditor bank etc documents. however he had me sign the chapter 7 documents before i was able to get my whole life policy surrender values. he had me guess . my guess was low. in fact the policies were worth close to the amount whereas , i could pay the creditors without filing bankruptcy . he still refuses to discuss this with the trustee to get a dismissal. any advise? thank you
Barbara bart says
My case went to court. And now the lawyer i had was bad .so since it went to court and it done.why does my lawyer keep sending me letters.i thought once u go to court then it done .
My soon to be ex husband needed a lawyer. I was there at the time of hire. Paid all necessary retainer fees, got the ball rolling. As time went on this lawyer kept asking for more n more money. So I paid put of my personal account separate from my husband. Now we are divorcing and I wish to discontinue his services . This lawyer refuses to stop representing my husband and return my remaining balance. How is this lawyer able to do this??
I was injured by a negligent driver en route to a passenger, an Uber vehicle from Hertz.
On Aug 4th 2021.
I signed a contract Aug 5th 2021 with thier investigator who came out to my home,
But I never received a copy of my contract .??
“What should I do???”
After I signed that contract I read thier reviews in thier isnt good ones!
They only help me Locate a doctor that will not charge me out of pocket.
They have not yet,
Connected me with a rental car provider.
“What should I do ??”
They haven’t informed me on Finding a quality repair shop for my vehicle or
Getting me paid for loss of use of my vehicle.
“What should I do ?
The investigator explained in contract Ensuring me that I’ll receive the highest possible settlement.
But they haven’t
Provided access to MY CONTRACT OR My files status claim to the insurance companies.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
I feel like thier reviews maybe true what should I do???
Angel Reynolds says
Hired this attorney who doesnt return calls or texts and did nit send any of my evidence in ahead of time before the zoom hearing fir DVPTO. Paid a one time 3500 fee for PTO hearing which is the only thing he did and the divorce. We have since began counceling and we do not want to get divorced. The 3500 was for divorce but he didnt do anything for that yet. Can I get some of the money back since I dropped protectiin irder and dont want a divorce. Ps also just found out he was recently in jail with his 24 yr ild girlfriend for breaking into someones hiuse to take gis stuff back.
Is this the same for family court lawyers? I live in NY, my case (and lawyer) is in AL, can I have a lawyer from NY represent me in family court in AL?
I terminated the attorney-client relationship with my probate lawyer. I requested her to send me all case files and also file a motion to withdraw from the court within one week of termination email she received. She replied with anger. But I have not received any files and also she did not file a motion to withdraw from the court. It’s been 3 weeks. I went to the court to get some case files and also instructions on how to do probate in the court. I’m sure I can handle the rest process without a lawyer’s help. But If she does not withdraw from the court, what should i do to carry on the rest process? Please advise. BTW, I have fee dispute with this lawyer.
Sandra Williams says
I had an accident on 07/27/2021. On the scene of the accident some lady was driving pass and handed her complimentary card to us and said she was a lawyer. When I was told I needed a lawyer, I gave her a call and we got talking. I signed the contract on 07/28/2021. She referred me to the emergency room and therapy clinic I have been going to. Since she got me to sign the contract, she is not as available as she is. First of all, she charged me a % that was higher that what other personal injury lawyers in Texas charge. I saw it and we talked about it and she reduced it but not even to the flat rate most of them charge. So, I have just not been comfortable with her anymore. I called her on 08/12/2021 and up till now she has not returned my call. So, I decided that I do not want her to represent me anymore. I had to look at her complimentary card and I just found out that she is a legal assistant not an attorney. So, she sources clients for the attorney. I have never spoken to the attorney, I don’t even know who the attorney is. She is the one I have been communicating with. This is a no no for me. A friend just introduced me to the attorney that represented her when she was in an accident. I have communicated with the new attorney and they said I have to fire the old one first before they can pick up my case. I have checked the contract that I signed, there no place on the contract that talked about termination. So, are my the one to send her a letter of termination or is the new firm I want them to represent me supposed to be the one to send them the letter?
If My lawyer is judge can he still represent me or is that a conflict of interest.
Ian Pisarcik says
Certain judges, such as municipal court judges, may be able to represent clients. However, a judge would not be permitted to represent a party in a matter with related litigation over which they preside as judge.
I was in an accident January 2019 and then another one in March 2021. I asked the attorney to settle the first accident because I was seeing a new doctor and new injuries. this was in A week after the accident. I had been asking him to find a Therapist because I was having anxiety attacks after the first accident while driving. I finally found one July 2021. He decided that he was going to add that on to the settlement from the original accident. I had to tell him no don’t do that. And ask him to go ahead and settle out the first accident. I have PPI insurance and he has used that money as a retainer for the therapist. This so stressing me out what can I do?
If a lawyer is representing you in a case and then he takes a job as assistant district attorney can he still represent the client in the case
I live in the Bay Area. November of last year I retained an attorney for my social security disability claim. I’ve had many problems not receiving calls back on time sensitive information. Today I called and they couldn’t find me as even a client. I would like to fire them without any claim to any settlement I may receive. Is this possible?
Ian Pisarcik says
Whether or not you will owe your attorney money depends on the language of the attorney-client agreement that you signed. With that being said, in the vast majority of cases you cannot fire your attorney without compensating them for the legal services they provided (even if you signed a contingent fee agreement). If you fire your attorney without paying the money owed, the fired attorney will likely place a lien on any settlement/judgment that you receive.
I inherited a car. I took the will and vehicle to to the registry of moror vehicles to register it. I was told I needed a for, but not which one. I contacted a lawyer. He sid he would handle it. It’s been over 2 months and he keeps giving excuses as to why it’s taking so long. I did a search and there have been numerous complaints about him, and one caused loss of his license to practice for one month. I have no written contract with him.. He has stalled on cases and one was 10 years long!
Alice Irland says
Can my son fire his court appointed conflict attorney? The attorney has seen my son 1 time during this entire case and has not responded to phone calls or letters my son was wrote. He has mad up excuse after excuse to me as to why he has not responded to my son. I had to beg him to even go talk to my son. My son wants to fire him bit we arent sure if he can do that. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi, I retained new counsel and the other that I am firing charged a ‘flat fee’ to me. It is for my partner who is in jail rn during this. No contract, no nothing. Retained for new case and probation revocation hearing. Prob hearing has never happened so he has not done anything on that and it is not even scheduled yet so nothing there. The new case, he has ONCE in 8 months shown up to speak with partner at jail about it. After a court appearance he is lucky if he sees him let alone speaks iwth him and NEVER returns calls or emails to either one. Never does the secured phone calls at the jail. The ONE time he answered the attorney blurted out priv info on the unsecure jail line (he knows it is not secure) and told ME some very private and undisclosed information about the case. My partner is his client, not me, so who else is he sharing this with? Not to mention the lie he told to get me to hire him, the names and bashing he has done of him and his being TOTALLY unprepared for court–which caused at least one if not 2 dates pushed further out. Anyhow, I need to fire him, partner needs to BUT with Covid he has no access to sending by certified mail nor drafting a letter or document to sign and send. Plus, I plan on recouping part of this ‘flat fee’ as it was supposed to ‘cover everything from day one on’ and needless to say he basically does not even exist as an attorney to him/us.
Any advice on the letter? I can hand deliver it AND do by certified so there are two methods of delivery–is that enough? Also, do I ask him to justify what the monies have gone for from the new case (not even to plea on that yet–ugh, 8 months in jail and NOTHING) and then demand part back and then all on the revocation since that has not been touched?
Thank you in advance for your time
I’m suing Carl’s Jr. They’ve admitted responsibility, however my attorney has changed me 5 times in his firm , never calls me, has been over 18 months since I sued, and I have yet to see a result from.sevwral doctors. Can I fire him and get new counsel or can I just settle w Carl’s directly?
My mom was injured almost 2 years ago in the apartment we were living in. She hired an attorney who kept putting her off for conference calls and because he delayed in filing a lawsuit, she died. Who is responsible?
Hi my name is Sam. I have had a lawsuit for an accident that involve myself my two kids I was picking up from school, as well as my 4 month infant. My lawyer went a full year of no contact and not returning my calls. The other parties insurance has taken full liability and repaired my car. I am going on three years now waiting for my medical bills to be settled. What should I do? Please help!
K. Bingham says
I retained an attorney because during consultation he acted like he was 100% with me on what i was thinking and what i thought should happen. Paid him 750$. He didn’t reach out to me at all and on day of court i emailed asking if he needed to talk to me before court and then he informs me that he had an emergency and someone else from the firm would be representing me . We appealed my case (like we had talked about in consultation) and told me i needed to pay him another 750. I told him when i would be able to and he said ok. Before that happened i got a text from probation asking why i didn’t call n make an appointment with them. She didn’t even know about the appeal. I reached out to my attorney and asked him why and he said that i did not have to respond to her, the appeal made it so i did not need to comply with probation and that the current judge no longer had any say. I told P.O. what he said and she told me i would be getting a violation if i did not come in. A couple weeks later she texts again asking me why i wasn’t in court the day before. I told her i wasn’t aware i had court… So i am so lost and confused. I feel like I should be told these things and i shouldn’t have to ask if i have court coming up, he should have told me. What he told me was going to happen during consultation is not happening and everything that’s happening is a surprise to me. I want a new attorney but i was told i can’t because of the appeal . is that true? Please give me some advice.
I filed for divorce in early 2017. My divorce is still ongoing and I have no clue what is going on. I have called and emailed my attorney numerous times asking her to contact me yet she never does. I have only spoken to her 2 times since 2018!! I can’t afford a new attorney so firing her isn’t an option. There is no order for child support, no order for insurance for my minor child there’s nothing. I know she is trying to prove his income so she can get paid however she is totally neglecting my child’s needs and my repeated requests to contact me, to finalize my divorce and then just sue him after for her fees. What can I do?
I have a lawyer for an estate. He has prolonged the process by sending one bank at a time and sending checks to himself making me come in to sign check which he is charging me for. He also before giving me the first bill took the money out of the estate. I keep asking to finalize everything but he keeps putting me off. should I fire him?
I have a question about billing from my lawyer. I haven’t heard from her in 1 yr. I received a bill from her. how can this be when I haven’t even been involved with any of it. I wasn’t aware that she was contacting the opposing party at all. I was under the impression that the plaintiff wasn’t doing anything at this time.
I have a bill with 9 charges on it. How is this fair and why wasn’t i involve with any of it. How do i now if these charges really happened? I pay my lawyer hourly, so that’s why I am questioning it.
Can the lawyer just go off and make all these charges and i am sitting back to hear from her.
Help I need answers
Melissa Gold says
Hi, Suzanna. It’s possible that there are things happening with your legal matter “behind the scenes” and you’re not aware of the work the attorney is doing. It’s also possible that there are provisions in your retainer agreement that address additional charges. Without knowing what the 9 charges are, or the terms of your contract, it would be impossible to know if the charges are legitimate.
You can contact the attorney’s office and request for someone (either the attorney or one of her staff) to review the charges with you so that you know exactly what they’re for. You can also ask for an update on your case so that you know what’s been going on and if the plaintiff has been requesting documents or otherwise moving forward. Best of luck.
Jimmy H. says
I had a lawyer bill me 18 minutes for a three sentence email asking for status. That’s 6 minutes per sentence.
Should have fired him then for incompetency.
I later learned, thanks to a mistake by a new secretary, he farmed out the paperwork to someone else and was up charging the work to his hourly rate.
Lisa smith says
I have received nothing but complications from my solicitor. She doesn’t return calls or emails. She missed court, a date I wasn’t aware of until the next mention when the judge asked my solicitor why she didn’t attend. She has also accepted offers without my consent. She had not informed me of any offers made from the other party to which i was not made aware till I had to appear in court. I am asking her to withdrawal from my case so I can represent myself as I am unhappy with her representation to which she keeps stating that the registrar and other parties solicitor are happy to negotiate further with her as my lawyer. After numerous texts and emails to withdraw. I can not email the court or solicitors involved till she does this.
Melissa Gold says
Hello, Lisa. It sounds like perhaps you’re outside the U.S.
I’m not familiar with the laws and regulations outside the U.S., but if you’re in the States and unhappy with your legal representation, you can always seek counsel of a different lawyer. A lawyer is required to present the client with any offers or reasonable negotiations from other parties in a lawsuit. Again, if you’re outside the U.S., your situation could be different. But here, you can contact another lawyer for assistance in removing yourself from this person’s counsel — even if you want to represent yourself. Also, check the terms of your retainer agreement or contract because it might have specific terms for terminating the relationship.
Dexter D Utley says
I was in a car accident in August 2020. Retained a contingency attorney 10 days later. I let him know from the beginning I wanted to settle the case. This attorney proceeded to give me a convincing presentation of his representation. I was impressed and signed a contract. The attorney sent me to an emergency rm, with whom he had a referral relationship with. I had an x-ray and the doctor gave me one Tylenol. This visit cost over $12,000. Then went to his pain management doctor, with whom he had a referral relationship with. I was complaining about shoulder pain. The doctor ordered a MRI. I visited the doctor a total of 4 times and received only 2 injections. This doctor treated pain with shots only. No theraputic equipment was seen in his office and most of his patients were represented by my attorney’s firm. Treatment consisted of 4 visits because the shots elevated my glucose, but remember I only received 2injections. These 4 visits totalled over $ 13,000. Eventually I fired this attorney because he refused to communicate with me, but most of all he lied to me about my recovery amount and my medical expenses during a phone discussion about the insurance company second offer. Specifically, he told me I’d recover 1 percent of a $15,000 settlement offer, which I believed was fair. This attorney said this to produce fear of getting nothing if I didn’t allow him to keep negotiating. This attorney was interested in filling suit to maximize his fee, not my interest. Fast forward, I now have another attorney whom I also told I want to settle my case and not file suit. The insurance company has raised its offer, but my current attorney is having problems getting the astronomical medical expenses reduced and. I’m upset with the fired attorney because he sent me to medical providers who was in cohoots with him to super inflate their rates for him to use for case worth calculations. These people (including the fire attorney) mistakingly believe I was in an accident just to line their pockets.
My question to you is can a interpleader action be filed to ask a judge to reduce the medical expenses to what is fair and reasonable?
Michael McGuire says
I just fired my attorney for lack of communication, unwillingness to communicate, unprofessional behavior, and breach of the contract. It would take them 2 months to respond to emails I sent, they would act arrogantly and yell at me over the phone for questions I asked, and their customer service from paralegals was terrible. I paid them an initial $2500 retainer and I paid them $8,000 total that the contract said was the full price. They only filed a notice of appearance and sent 3 settlement offers within a 10 month time frame. I asked for my money back omitting money for services already rendered. Am I entitled to some of my money back and should I file a complaint with the bar?
Reese Raine says
When we were in probate our attorney went behind my back and started negotiations with a purported heir. I had told him in person, in text, in emails and by phone e that I did not want him to negotiate or do anything about the purported heir until I was finished going through files. He has caused the probate case to take much longer than it would have and it could have a negative impact on the final ruling. Is this malpractice? Is there anything I can do? Is there anything that I should do?
I live in Ohio. My sons mother has a DCS case open in Indiana and my attorney will be filing for custody in Indiana. I feel like my chances of gaining full custody are being sabotaged. Any help?
Hello I paid a lawyer $5,500 in March last year for a custody case he went and filed a paper stating he was my lawyer and then a week later asked for more money to file papers in court. And here it is almost a year later and he’s not done anything and I need a lawyer badly ans fast my daughter suffers with mental health issues and now her father won’t let me see her for my visitation. Her dad tried to get emergency custody and it was denied but still won’t let me see her. He’s got her head so twisted and I’m hitting three months with not seeing her and she keeps blocking me on her phone her father just blames me for everything and I’m at a loss for words and heart broken ans worried. The lawyer I gave all this money to also started calling me bad names after I paid him and said he would shoot my ex and everyone it didn’t matter to him he would still be paid. He won’t return my calls or emails. I just want my money back. I haven’t been the best mother but I do anything for my kids and they are my life there all I have and I don’t know what to do I have lost all hope in saving my beautiful amazing daughter. Please someone help me by pointing me in the right direction.
I paid mine $10k, he immediately handed my case to a subordinate and went to Hawaii.
The underling didn’t know anything about my case. He was rude, terse, and would address me in emails as if I already knew the answer or he’d already said that.
The 1st guy, he was supposed to file an answer and a counterclaim. The 2nd guy, he filed nothing. A month has gone by, 1st meeting with Judge is in 3 weeks. I asked WHY has nothing been filed, they tried to blame ME.
No, I’m not the Attorney, why haven’t you filed what you said? No answer. I asked for an accounting since it appears they’ve done absolutely nothing. Refused to provide it, back to emailing me oh they need this doc.
But I can tell you, not a single attorney would even speak to me, at all, when they looked up my case and saw I had hired an attorney. I have not been able to get a 2nd opinion, input, nothing. There’s no way I could hire another attorney while I have these 2.
So I’ve tried to fire them. And suddenly! Surprise! They have all kinds of time to call and email me. Wow, they have ignored me for a month.
Because of these 2 geniuses, I am going to have to file a Motion on my own for more time on the case to find representation. I’m at 24 hours with these 2, haven’t backed out or refunded any part of my money. Just total jerks. Surely figuring out the plan to nickel and dime my $10k away. I mean, they have done nothing.
My divorce attorney has demonstrated a like for my spouse side of my case example telling me he likes her and he would never hurt or harm me even after years of abuse documented and because I voiced my displeasure of all the bad things she recanted he said about me she is now withdrawing from my case but the wording of her withdrawal is defamatory at best towards me.What can I do to make sure the truth is told in the withdrawal motion. She has also lied to me on her com.ications with my spouse. He calls her and talks for hours! She says he needs to vent and just wants to be rid of me! Also td him she would get me to settle soon! Unbelievable!
I fired my attorney this morning via email he had me sign a lien with a Dr an that Dr charged me way to much I was told by paralegal I could not dispute or reduce the lien an it was higher than the surgeon who actually repaired my arm after my wreck he charged $3467 for 4 office visits an never touched my arm he took x-rays n house the attending surgeons gee was $2807 an he operated took stitches out an seen me in hospital proveses after care prescriptions etc the higher fr did none of thati could not trutrust them to negotiate any further if I did I was not going to have any money at all to be able to get back up on my feet an he not one time would except a appointment with me I got all my info via paralegal that never returned my calls only emailed after the first month I asked for help bc I have not got to work since August I got none but he was making sure to take care of my providers my credit is ruined any ways he knew I could not afford utilities or car or anything until he released my check it was like he wanted me to suffer so after seeing what I was being charged by there Dr I blew my stack an fired him told him I didn’t want him negotiating any further he had not at no time hhad my best interest at heart an I could not trust him any further to have my file an my check ready this afternoon an of course I have received no ontac glhis paralegal called I called her back I was put on hold so I hung up of course she emailed me back so where do I go from here I told him to collect his fees but not cash his check until I seen a. Detailed sheet with his fees an I would be there to pick up that pertained to my case then I told them to send it certified mail over night that way we both had a receipt an to take his name off my check also told him I’d have alever news reporter around to take the story if he didn’t havey file an check waiting I was no longer able to be dismissed or mistreated
Also he ignores ever attempt I tried to meet with him he showed no concern whatsoever I had already handled my own property an most of the medical an he is still getting paid I can’t tell u at the hard times I’ve had he didn’t care that I had my utilities shut off the same thing is fixing to happen again an he didn’t say a word about the jacked up medical for the only lien I had was the one he iniated an he didn’t ask me if I wanted to except the offer he just excepted it an then I’m eligible for 100% debt forgiveness I have no income no way to get in one hadn’t had income but a week since August I couldn’t do the job anyways bc my arm is messed up he was told that I will not be able to sign up for insurance unless he let me get some money before the 15 of January an he still wouldn’t let me get any of my money which is at his office he wanted to what the providers reduced to what did it matter I didn’t get but $2$25000 an my medical was $136000 an he wanted to reduce from 90 -95 % I could not check the medical bills for accuracy an it’s obvious he didn’t care that by doing that I would not have anything left to pay my bills up that got behind or buy a car decent enough to get me to work he showed no compassion at all for me or my case did not ask me if I wanted to go further he just took it upon himself to take 25000 that he will then get 33-40 % of so how am I suppose to be able to get back up on my feet after being off from August until now with lthat I couldn’t an he didn’t care but he was concerned about my providers I said well u so concerned about them let them pay u I’m not paying you take care of them im paying you to take care of my needs. He asked me nothing he made my decisions for me an I take offense he was hired by me not my providers an so I fired him via email through my paralegal that’s the only connection I had to him the whole time it should be sufficient to end it is the way I see it
I am facing criminal charges, while in jail my family thought I needed a lawyer immediately and talked to a lawyer they had used before and got a recommendation, they asked for a considerable amount to just look at my case.he did get my bond lowered considerably. After I got out I did some research and he has never worked on my particular type of case, a considerable retainer was paid before I could conduct my research. I needed to present a substantial amount of medical information to make sure my medical care is taken care of, he never once asked about my providers almost impossible to get ahold off, I ended up having to run around for almost 8 hours straight and pay out of pocket for my medical documentation to be sent to him. At that point I began to do extensive research about my charge and what to do, I am on my 3rd continuance and my wife can’t bare to do another. I just learned about the best possible defense for my charge, that information is not readily available and requires extensive research. As the defense I found to use is literally the difference between getting a sentence to just getting probation. Ended up getting the information I needed about using Risk and assessment tools in pretrial sentencing from a Dr. That does those evaluations almost exclusively for the area I was charged. I am tired and ready for this to be over I have put my family through enough. I don’t understand why this defense wasn’t mentioned at the beginning as this case could have been done with already, I’m concerned he didn’t know or might not know how to argue the information to the prosecutor. If has never tried my type of case why did he even take the case. Need suggestions.
My regular attorney referred me to another attorney with whom she had good experiences. However, he turned out to be a real nigjtmare. The reason my first attorney couldn’t handle the case was because right after we 1 my appeals case, she just happened to become co-defendant in a case involving the party I’m suing, so it was as a conflict of interest. The referring attorney has missed most of the deadlines for my federal case after I won my appeal, does not reply to my emails or phone calls, and took $1,000 under false pretenses as a retainer and then later told me that the case was contingency. He has not given me a receipt or any kind of written agreement for what type of fee structure he has offered since Labor Day weekend of 2019. To list the bungles that he has been a part of would blow your mind and there’s a list of about 15 things, mostly missed deadlines. Each time I got close to firing him, I was advised to wait because it would be detrimental to the case. Now it’s gone on over 3 months with no movement on my case. He actually did file some motions, but each one of them he’s screwed up somehow. I’m not even sure if we missed the statute in the first place when we first filed he may have screwed that up too. For all I know I’m hoping for a ruling in my favor when it’s not even possible because he may have missed the statute for deadline. The original attorney who referred me to him actually told me that I should fire him and then sue him. This case has the potential to change an unconstitutional state law. I don’t want to give up on it.
Tom D Harry says
I’m ten months into my case and I find out my lawyer never filed motion to discover. What should I do?
Blueboy 65 says
Very informative about legal rights that a client should expect from their legal advisor.. I think the biggest issue one can have is phone calls, not being returned. That means the client has no idea of the of where the case stands. Professionalism should not be missing on any level. Business is Business , nothing personal just business. People hire an attorney to represent them and should expect to be treated as if they are just as important as the professional they hired,
I need advice. I believe my attorney is not representing me correctly.
My lawyer deliberately didn’t file my trial brief.
First, my lawyer didn’t show up to court the day of. He didn’t tell he wasn’t gonna show up. He also didn’t notify the court. I had to track him down that morning. The judge granted me another court date. I spoke with my lawyer that night. I asked him if he would time to file my trial brief, that I would file it myself if need be. He stated, not to worry that he would file it. I messaged my lawyer 2 nights before my court. Asking if my trial brief was file, he said yes. I come to find out, while in court, from the judge, that my trial brief was never filed. The judge stated that due to my trial brief not being filed that she was forced to rule for the opposing party. This was a custody/ move away case. I never got a chance to say 1 word.
Are his actions, or should I say, non actions considered legal malpractice?
Lee Dantone says
Yes I’ve had hernia mesh surgery and even a a revisional repair hernia mesh surgery and I’ve had four different attorneys that have been absolutely unhelpful unpleasant disrespectful I can keep going on I don’t understand what’s going on with me and mycase I don’t have an attorney now because it has been literally just aggravating and upsetting can anybody help me out on what I should do thank you so very much
Christine Lane says
Hi My sister hired a lawyer but she was incarcerated, so I was her middle man so the lawyer had me sign the contract and I also paid them from my sisters bank account, they said they needed to have my sister sign the contract in jail. I didn’t have power of attorney, but I signed the contract and paid the 15,000 retainer fee. But this firm made promises they didn’t fulfill for example they never went and saw my sister in jail before her court appearance so they never knew her side of the arrest. They kept promising they would go see her and never did. They said they had a great plan and would be there at the court appearance and instead they had an outside lawyer show to just get an continuous but my sister was not waiving her time we fired the firm Right there and had the public defender representing the judge agree to it where are you Rowan. And I called the firm and fired him again is that I will be totally refund because they did nothing for us at all, They said they were having good accounting department return the money I took a month and a half to return the money to us and he charges $5000 worth of fees that they did not do. How do I get my 5000 dollars back how do lawyers bill 500 and Berger even talked to the client. What are my sister rrights