There could be many reasons as to why you would want to change attorneys. Problems may arise and you may not want their representation any further. This can include trust issues or you may just feel that your lawyer’s representation is no longer effective. Switching attorneys can be a challenge, but with these steps it can be done.
Ask the Court’s Permission
Before switching attorneys, you must ask the court for permission to do so. This step is essential especially if you are changing attorneys while you have a case pending. The judge may decide the change would delay the case. It would take too much time to find a new lawyer and get them up to speed with the case.
Find a New Lawyer
It is essential that you find a new lawyer before firing your old lawyer in case you do not find a better one. It is important that you meet with the new lawyer and explain your situation. If you are in the middle of a case, you should bring copies of documents to help the lawyer get familiar with your case.
Discontinue Representation from your Primary Lawyer
Notify your lawyer that you no longer wish to have them representing you. You can choose to do this in writing or in person. You may or may not discuss the reasons for termination of their representation.
Notify the Court
Upon terminating your former attorney, you must notify the court. This includes filing a motion for substitution of attorney. This procedure usually involves both attorneys. Both the new and old lawyers sign documents provided by the court about the situation.
Tie up Any Loose Ends
After all is said and done, you can request your file and unused fees if any. You need your file in order for the new attorney to catch up. If you gave your lawyer a large retainer fee, then you may be entitled to a return of any unearned fees. On the other hand, you must take care of any unpaid balances. Failure to pay your dues can result in the lawyer suing you.
Changing attorneys can be tough as well as finding a replacement. No one should be left with unhappy representation. However, make sure you are switching attorneys for the right reasons. Feel free to obtain a second opinion if you have any doubts. It’s your right and you need to do what’s best for your particular situation and future. Contact Attorney Inna Fershteyn for more information regarding how to switch attorneys for cases regarding areas such as estate planning, asset protection, elder law, Medicaid planning, and Medicaid fraud. Call us at (718) 333-2394.