General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Can I fire my lawyer?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10245 points ) December 13th, 2013

For many reasons I want to find a new lawyer for my auto accident case. How do I “fire” my current one? Do I simply find a new one and give them all of my information? Or is there some sort of process I must go through to make a switch? I’m in NY if it matters.

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You tell your lawyer he is no longer representing you. Has anything been filed on your behalf with a court, or any letters sent on you behalf? Then a new lawyer needs to inform the court and the other side.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@zenvelo The only thing he’s done so far is send letters to both insurance companies saying he represents me.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Is your auto insurance sending a lawyer ? ?

Why did you need to get your own lawyer?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I got a lawyer to help me through the process of a car accident/injury. I chose him myself but now regret my choice. If I end up getting any sort of money in the future from this, I certaintly wouldn’t want him getting ⅓ of it. He doesn’t deserve a dime.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Can you talk with your insurance company’s legal staff? Then get them to carry the of the rest of the litigation.

snowberry's avatar

Your insurance company is going to be wanting to pay as little as possible. Keep that in mind.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@snowberry but if they can get money from the plaintive insurance company they will.

snowberry's avatar

@Tropical_Willie My point is, if you let your insurance company handle it, the attorneys will act according to the directives of the insurance company, and not in your best interest.

I’ve been down this trail. If you want to have an attorney act in your interests, you had best choose wisely, and not let other people do it for you.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It will cost you 25 % to 33 % to have the “personal attorney”.

snowberry's avatar

And if you fire the first attorney, read the fine print on the contract you signed with him. You’ll be paying him by the hour for the time he spent with you.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@snowberry Really? I never even considered that. Yikes.

CWOTUS's avatar

@snowberry is right, and said what I was going to say. Unless you have discovered the attorney to be in flagrant disregard of his own side of the contract, or in breach of ethical standards for a NY attorney (it seems funny to even put those words together) – and which he acknowledges, and for that reason agrees to terminate the contract with no charge to either party – then he’s going to expect payment for the hours spent on your case so far. And that will include, most likely, full-hour charges for every letter, every phone call made and answered and every meeting with you, no matter how long each of those actions actually took. And his hourly charge will not be “the cost of his personal time”, but will include all of his office overheads, too. So “an hourly charge” for an attorney can easily run into the hundreds of dollars.

If I were you and I were unhappy with his style of representation, the perceived amount of effort that you see, or even his personal ethics, then I would first discuss my displeasure with him, and following that, try to find ways to work around my distaste for that and see the thing through with him – or plan to pay the bill when it was presented, take all of the notes and files that the payment represented, and never look back.

ISmart's avatar

sure.. you can fire anyone you want.. if you gave a deposit say good bye to that.

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