Firing a lawyer involves a few steps:
- Write a Formal Letter: To fire a lawyer, you should write a formal letter stating that you are terminating your relationship and that the lawyer should stop working on your case. You do not need to get into details in the letter.
- Send the Letter: You should send the letter by certified or registered mail to ensure that the lawyer received it.
- Request Your Files: You can request your files back or ask that they are sent to your new lawyer.
- Refund of Retainer: If you have paid a retainer to the lawyer, you are entitled to a refund of whatever money remains after the lawyer’s payment for the time they worked on your case up until you fired them.
- Lien Against the Case: Keep in mind that the lawyer you fire will likely have a lien or claim against the case to recover the fair and reasonable value of the time they spent on it.
Remember, you always have the right to fire a privately-retained lawyer. However, if you fire your lawyer just before a hearing or trial, you’ll most likely need to file a “motion for continuance”. This asks the judge to change the date of the court hearing or trial to a later date so you have time to hire a new attorney.
Please consult with another attorney or legal expert before making any decisions. This information is intended as general guidance and may not apply to your specific situation.