If I recently got a attorney to handle my case, but feel he aint showing anough effort . Could I fire him and hire some one else

UPDATED: Apr 17, 2009

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If I recently got a attorney to handle my case, but feel he aint showing anough effort . Could I fire him and hire some one else

Asked on April 17, 2009 under Accident Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Absolutely.  In California a client can always terminate his or her lawyer at any time for any reason, or no reason at all.

If yours is an auto accident case, you would then try to get another lawyer. That's where it can get tricky.

Most lawyers recognize that a client who is dissatisfied with lawyer 1 is far more likely to be dissatisfied with lawyer 2 than the average client. Why? There are some people who are impossible to please. (Of course if your lawyer is known in the profession to be a lousy lawyer or a slug or something similar, then the prospective attorney may easily understand why you are switching.)

Second, there will be a lower fee for lawyer 2. Why? In most injury cases your lawyer 1 was undoubtedly working on a contingency basis without any up front fee. He or she would collect his or her fee and expenses only after the case settles or a verdict is collected. Thus some arrangement has to be made to pay lawyer 1.

The usual solution is for the lawyers to agree the fee will be  split between 1 and 2; if they can't agree the local bar association often arbitrates and splits the fee based on work done and relative value added.

But in any event, that means going into the case lawyer 2 knows he will be dealing with a person who may be a difficult client and also the new attorney will get a lower than normal fee.

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