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Firing Your Lawyer
Firing Your Lawyer

Personal Injury Law

Can I Fire My Lawyer Before Settlement?

When you are in the midst of a legal battle, it is important to know that your lawyer is on your side. While you certainly hope for the best outcome following a decision to hire a lawyer, there may be reasons why you consider firing your current lawyer to find more qualified representation. Although this can certainly complicate your case, it may be the best way to achieve an optimal settlement. It is important to understand this process thoroughly before taking action to fire your lawyer.

Can I fire my lawyer before settlement? Yes, you can fire your lawyer at any point in your case leading up to the settlement. However, if you have reached the settlement process with offers on the table, it is best to remain with your current lawyer if possible. Switching lawyers is not only costly but can also delay your case. Because of this, you must carefully consider whether or not searching for a new lawyer is truly beneficial to your unique situation.

Regardless of your reasoning for firing your lawyer, it is important to carefully weigh your options before taking action. In this post, we will provide you with several questions you must ask yourself before you fire your lawyer. We will also walk you through the process of firing your lawyer if you decide that is the best alternative.

Everything You Need to Know About Firing Your Lawyer

Working with a lawyer with whom you do not communicate well can add an added level of stress to an already stressful situation. You must be able to clearly communicate with the lawyer who is representing you, having complete confidence in their ability to achieve a desirable outcome. 

If you have experienced behaviors or interactions with your lawyer that are less than ideal, it may be time to consider firing them and finding more qualified representation. Let’s take a closer look at the process of firing your personal injury lawyer before a settlement is reached.

You can learn about the reasons a lawyer may quit your case here.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Firing Your Lawyer

Tulsa LawyerFiring your lawyer before settlement can not only result in financial loss but also a loss of valuable time. Because of this, you must ask yourself several questions to carefully weigh your decision regarding finding your lawyer. Here are just a few of the questions that you must ask yourself as you make this important decision:

How Close is the Case to Settlement?

Before you fire your lawyer, you must consider how close your case is to settlement. If your case has yet to settle, it may be worth your while to find a lawyer. However, if a settlement is on the table, firing your lawyer at this late stage will result in a lengthy delay of your case. If it is at all possible, it is in your best interest to press forward with your current lawyer through the settlement process.

Are the Problems With Your Lawyer Personal or Professional?

Many times, individuals find themselves frustrated more with the circumstances surrounding the case rather than the lawyer themselves. Additionally, some individuals may have personal frustrations with the lawyer that do not involve how the lawyer is operating in their professional capacity.

If you are considering firing your lawyer, carefully examine whether your problems with the lawyer are based on personal or professional grievances.

Is Your Lawyer Prohibiting the Outcome You Deserve?

Unfortunately, not all lawyers are equally qualified or effective. You may feel as if your lawyer is preventing you from achieving the outcome you deserve. This is often the case if your lawyer seems ill-prepared for your meetings or lacks a clear strategy for reaching the desired outcome. 

What Financial Loss Will You Incur by Firing Your Lawyer?

Anytime you work with a lawyer, you will be required to pay them for their services. This includes the times when they do not work with you to the end of your case. It is important to review your contract to determine the amount of financial loss that you will incur if you fire your lawyer.

If you are considering finding a new legal representative, they may be able to help you decipher the contract with your existing lawyer during this process. 

Reasons to Fire Your Lawyer Before Settlement

So, what are some of the reasons you may justifiably fire your lawyer before a settlement is reached? Here are just a few of the reasons you may consider firing your lawyer:

  • Your lawyer does not explain their strategy for your case.
  • Your lawyer hands off your case to a case manager without your consent.
  • You lack confidence in the lawyer’s ability to handle your case.
  • Your lawyer fails to communicate with you in regards to your case.
  • Your lawyer does not clearly explain the value of your case.
  • You disagree with your lawyer on important matters regarding your case.
  • Your lawyer does not provide you with the information you need to prepare.
  • Your lawyer intimidates you into taking actions with which you are not comfortable.
  • You do not trust that your lawyer is working in your best interest.

 

There are, of course, other reasons why you may consider firing your lawyer before settlement. It is important to carefully think through your reasoning to be certain that you are not making a rash decision that will result in negative consequences.

How to Fire Your Lawyer Before Settlement

If you have decided that your rationale for firing your lawyer before a settlement is justified, it is important that you walk through the process in a calculated manner. This is the best way to avoid any unnecessary delays in your case.

Discuss Your Concerns With Your Lawyer Before Taking Action

First, it is recommended that you discuss your concerns with your lawyer. While this can be a tricky conversation, it may resolve the issue, saving you both time and money. Your concerns may simply be based on a lack of proper communication that can be easily resolved.

Review the Contract You Have With Your Lawyer

Before you take action towards firing your lawyer, it is important to review the contract that you signed at the onset of your case. These contracts often include directions for if you feel the need to part ways before your case is complete. Do your best to follow the directions outlined in the contract to avoid further frustration.

As you review the contract, make careful notes of the financial loss you will incur if you decide to fire your lawyer in the middle of your case.

Contact a New Lawyer Before Firing Your Current Lawyer

Another step you must take before firing your lawyer is contacting a new lawyer. Many times, they will be able to provide you with advice on your case through a free consultation. During this time, you can ask questions regarding how they would approach your case. They may also be able to provide you with insight as to how to proceed with the process of firing your current lawyer.

Clearly Notify Your Lawyer of Your Decision in Writing 

If you decide to fire your lawyer before settlement, you will need to clearly notify them of your decision in writing. While this can be done through email, it is best if you notify them of your decision through certified mail. You do not need to outline the reasoning behind your decision, simply notify them that you are no longer in need of their services.

Request to Pick Up Your Case File on a Set Date

To begin working with a new lawyer, you will need to obtain the case file that your lawyer has compiled during your case. This file will contain important information such as reports, depositions, and more. 

When you notify your lawyer of your decision to fire them, be sure to request this case file. To expedite the process, request the case file by a set date. Your new lawyer will need this information before they can begin to work on your case.

Notify the Court on Changes in Representation

Finally, if your case has proceeded to court, you must notify the court of changes in your legal representation. Once you switch personal injury lawyers, your new lawyer will be able to assist you in this process.

Working With a Qualified Legal Representative On Your Case

After working with a lawyer who provided you with less-than-ideal service, you may hesitate to hire a new lawyer. However, you must find a qualified legal representative to take over your case. You should never attempt to represent yourself, especially in a case that was started by a lawyer. Attempting this will only add to your stress and confusion.

Luckily, many highly-qualified Tulsa lawyers are ready to represent you! An experienced lawyer will be able to pick up the pieces of your case compiled by your previous attorney and begin working on your case. While switching lawyers in the middle of your case will inevitably cause some delays, it can make a huge difference in the overall outcome of your case.

If you have carefully considered the reasoning behind your desire to fire your lawyer before settlement, and have weighed the pros and cons of the situation, we hope that these tips make the process as seamless as possible! 

Thank you for reading! You can find answers to your legal questions here.

Written By

Matt has over 10 years of legal writing experience. He's worked and written for legal websites for serval websites including Truskett Law, Bruner Law, Jeffrey & Erwin, Gary Crews, PLLC., Deposition Academy, and Wagner & Lynch.

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