How do I fire my personal injury lawyer? And what will be the consequences?
Follow These Steps to Fire Your Lawyer:
- Do it in writing. Send a letter to your lawyer saying you want to fire him or her immediately. Send your letter by Certified Mail - Return Receipt Requested. This way you can prove your lawyer received your letter.
- Explain your reason for firing: In your letter, fully explain why you are terminating your attorney. Do not forget to include any reason. If there is more than one reason, include all of the reasons.
- Request a copy of your file: The file on your case kept by your lawyer IS YOUR PROPERTY. Ask your lawyer to provide you with a copy of your entire file. You will need your file to give to your new lawyer, if you are hiring a new lawyer.
- Go get your file: If your lawyer does not immediately send you a copy of your file or arrange for you to come get it from the law office, go to your lawyer's office in person and ask for your file. If you are met with resistance, sit in your attorney's office until he or she agrees to speak to you and give you your file.
What are the Possible Consequences of Firing Your Lawyer?
- You may not be rid of your lawyer: Your lawyer may try to keep charging you their contingency fee. In general, the lawyer is entitled to charge their contingent fee if you fired them without "good cause," even if they do no further work on your case. If you fired your attorney with "good cause," then they are not entitled to charge this fee. Your lawyer may "intervene" in your accident case to try to enforce his fee: this means he becomes a party to your accident case. So if you have a good reason for firing your lawyer, make sure you communicate and document it every step of the way.
- You may owe attorney fees to two lawyers: As mentioned above, if you did not have "good cause" to fire your lawyer, you may end up paying a contingent fee to two different lawyers. You should consult with your new lawyer and get his or her opinion about the chances that you would actually owe attorney's fees to two lawyers.
If you have any questions about this topic, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We can walk you through the process and help you make sure you're making the best decision for your future. Give us a call at 877.724.7800 or fill out a contact form on our website.