You’ve done your research and hired an attorney to represent you. However, now you’re completely dissatisfied with his/her legal representation. You want to fire your attorney and find a better one. It is best if you have a new attorney lined up before you fire your current one so that you don’t have a lapse in your legal representation. There is a process that should be followed when you decide to fire your attorney. After all, you want to ensure that it is done quickly and smoothly. If you want to fire your attorney, you don’t have to be intimidated- simply do your research and follow these tips to fire your attorney and get your files.
First, take some time to read your contract and find out if there are any special procedures you must follow in order to terminate services. If there are any special terms stated, you must follow these. One of the most common terms is that the termination must be stated in writing. Another stipulation is that the attorney may get a percentage of winnings in the case- even after they have been terminated. If this is one of the terms, you must let the new attorney know this. Give him/her a copy of your contract so that they will be able to work out the financial issues with your previous attorney.
Hire another attorney or opt to fight your case by yourself. If you want to fight on your own, you’ll need to do extensive legal research in order to increase your chances of winning. One great place to get legal information is through the court legal library. Also, you should be aware that some courts do offer free legal clinics to help those who are representing themselves in court.
Next, send a certified letter to your previous attorney, letting him/her know that you’re terminating services. Unless your contract states that a reason is required, you’re not expected to give specific reasons for the termination. Make sure the letter is short, polite, and brief. You will also want to indicate where you wish for your case files to be sent. If you have hired a new attorney, provide his/her contact information. Or, you can have the files mailed to your address or ask if you can come by the office and pick them up. Finally, make sure that you ask for a list of charges that you have been billed for.
If you have extra money in your retainer, ask for a refund. On the other hand, if you owe money, make sure that you send payment in a timely manner. He/she may not be willing to release case files to you or your new representation if you still owe money.
Finally, notify the court that there has been a change in representation. If you’re representing yourself, let them know. Find out from the clerk if there is a special form that you need to fill out regarding a change in representation. If you have hired a new attorney to represent you, he/she will notify the court for you.