How to fire a lawyer

Firing a lawyer involves a few steps:

  1. 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.
  2. Send the Letter: You should send the letter by certified or registered mail to ensure that the lawyer received it.
  3. Request Your Files: You can request your files back or ask that they are sent to your new lawyer.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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