Why Would You Want to Fire Your Lawyer?
If you are reading this, you probably have many reasons why you want to fire your lawyer and do not need my help giving you them. You may want to fire your lawyer because they are a bad personality fit. Part of being a lawyer is being able to calm your client and be a “shoulder to cry on” so to speak. If you are going through an emotional situation, like a divorce, and your attorney is just a bulldog with absolutely no emotional depth, that might be a reason.
The opposite is true as well. The attorney is your head coach and they call the plays. You may not like the play that they are calling and want an attorney who thinks a different way. Just like there are good and bad professionals in all careers, there are bad attorneys. Your attorney may just be flat-out horrible at their job. Every year, 1.3 million United States attorneys get disciplined or disbarred.1 Or, they may be great in one area, but have no idea how to handle your problem but they don’t want to tell you because they want your money.
Prevention is Key
The saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That is certainly true here. When you are looking for an attorney make sure that you find one who is a good fit for your personality. If applicable, try to find reviews. Read the biographies. If you do these steps, you will rarely need to fire an attorney because you know what you are getting from the start.
How to Fire Your Attorney
The simplest way to do so is by simply telling them you want to fire them. Now, before you do that, make sure that you have another attorney lined up. If you want another attorney, make calls and go over the interviewing process again with your newfound knowledge of what you are looking for. If you are in the middle of litigation, it might be harder to fire your attorney.
You may need the judges permission but this is rarely the case. In most cases, when Shield Wall Legal gets a call from somebody looking to switch, it’s fairly early in the case, and the other attorney’s incompetence has just started to show.
Can I Get My Money Back?
The answer to that is maybe. If you have been paying hourly, probably not. Your attorney still did the work, even if it was mediocre or not what you wanted. If you believe they stole from you by not giving you quality work, or billed more than they should have, you can report them to the bar association. Until we publish an article about that, you can read about it here.
The trickiest part is when you have paid a retainer. A retainer fee is a set amount of money you pay the attorney and the attorney pulls from that fund whenever they bill you. When you hire an attorney, they may put in there that they are entitled to a certain amount of money even if you want to fire them.
It could be 2-3k. However, they are not entitled to keep the whole thing because it is against the code of ethics. They did not earn that money, so they cannot keep it. It really is just a matter of what the document said; however, sometimes it is worth it to pay that money as opposed to continue to deal with your attorney’s incompetence.
How We Can Help You Fire Your Attorney
If you are wanting to fire your attorney, contact us. We help in the areas of personal injury, real estate and construction, constitution, contracts, and more. We would be happy to give our opinion of whether or not your attorney is helping you or hurting you.