When a contract is signed, your attorney has an obligation to do everything he or she can to win your case. Unfortunately, you may feel that your attorney is not providing you with suitable representation. Regardless of your reasoning, it is always important to address your complaints or concerns with your attorney directly before making a decision right away.
The Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP), operated by the Florida bar, encourages clients facing this dilemma to first arrange a face-to-face meeting with the attorney. Voice your complaints and concerns in this meeting and try to reach a consensus. Your attorney may even choose to withdraw from the case voluntarily if he/she does not feel confident in winning your case.
The following steps are recommended:
- Voice your concerns and discuss ways they can better meet your needs while maintaining realistic expectations.
- Give your attorney the opportunity to show improvement, but still keep in mind that cases have a time limit.
- If you’re satisfied with their improvements, great! If not, seek a second opinion from another attorney. Most attorneys’ provide a free initial consultation and can advise you through your decision.
- If you do decide to go through with the termination, it’s important to have it in writing, so write a clear and direct letter to your attorney stating that you choose to discontinue their representation and your reasoning for doing so.
- Hire a new attorney as soon as possible and be sure to address your reasons for dismissing you former counsel so they are able to take it into account and provide you with a better experience at their firm.
Remember, you have the right to disengage from your attorney at any point, but this is not always the best option. Since your attorney has been working on your case, 1) he or she might understand your case better than another attorney, 2) you might owe your first attorney money from your settlement if you decide to hire a second attorney. Check out our article on this topic that further discusses these factors to consider.
If your attorney is not putting time and energy into your claim, however, sometimes finding another lawyer is the only way you can get the compensation you deserve. At the Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A we can assure you that we represent our clients to the best of our ability and try our hardest to make sure you will not feel the need to take these steps.