Definitely, you have the power to fire your divorce lawyer. It’s something you may do that any time for any purpose. The lawyer should be performing for you, not against you. You have the right to fire your lawyer if you are upset about the way he is conducting your issue. The lawyer must immediately return your calls and emails, give you copies of all key documents and letters, and keep you updated about everything. If these activities aren’t occurring, you should consider dropping the lawyer and hiring someone else.
The financial consequences of divorce missteps, the most serious of which is employing the wrong counsel, may be catastrophic and last a lifetime. Here are several explanations why you should ponder over why a divorce lawyer should be fired:
1. You’re referred to colleagues and paralegals: You first visit with a lawyer who was recommended to you by an acquaintance or co-worker. He or she has excellent client feedback, a lovely office, and a wealth of knowledge. The issue is that while this lawyer is a strong rainmaker, he is not currently participating in the day-to-day activities in your matter. Instead, you’re passed off to a colleague or paralegal for “cost-cutting” reasons, with assurances that the legal representative you assumed you were engaging will keep a close eye on your matter and monitor the inexperienced associate.
This can be a significant impediment in your case’s accomplishment because the young acquaintance or paralegal is more prone to make mistakes on your economic affidavit, movement practice, observing your partner’s banking details, or by not having to ask you, the client, the appropriate questions, many of which can have long-term negative consequences. When the lawyer you engaged isn’t the one conducting your case, it’s better to switch on.
2. Ineffective communication: Family law issues, particularly those involving childcare and custody, can be very sensitive. Be wary of lawyers who refuse to interact with you after business hours, on weekends (when must parenting disagreements happen). Is your lawyer copying you on all communications and court papers, or is he or she keeping you unaware? Before sending essential messages to your partner’s lawyer, does your lawyer confer with you? Do you have any way of knowing if your lawyer has “restricted, telephone-only” contacts with the counsel on the opposing side? All these are major issues that potentially damage your situation. You should always be aware of the current state of your matter.
3. Your lawyer is unfamiliar with the parenting issues that are distinct to your circumstance: When it comes to effective custody arrangements, the devil is in the specifics. Most lawyers are unaware of the issues that arise while managing kids with disabilities. Alternatively, special childcare difficulties may arise. Problems with a new partner, for instance. Or kids who excel at a sport that might conflict with the custody time of the other spouse. If your lawyer has never had firsthand experience with and addressing the specific parenting issues in your issue, you should seek legal advice from someone who does.
How to hire a lawyer in a polite and professional manner
You must try to get your decision to split ways with your lawyer formally once you’ve made your choice. This entails notifying your lawyer of your choice and legally terminating their engagement in your matter. Although the process is generally the same, this may vary considerably depending on your lawyer’s agreement, whether your case is active in the court and other considerations.
To end your connection with your lawyer, here’s what to do:
Take a look at the retainer contract: The retainer contract is the deal you approved when you appointed the lawyer to serve for you. An engagement letter or a fee contract are other names for the arrangement. The parameters of your partnership with the lawyer are frequently included in the contract. It could also state how the partnership will be ended. If there is a method for discontinuing your connection with the lawyer, pursue it.
Appoint a new professional lawyer: It’s advisable to employ a new lawyer before proceeding with the procedure outlined in the contract or doing the next stages here. There is a multitude of causes why this is the better decision. You will not experience any service lapse if you appoint a new lawyer before firing the previous one. If a new lawyer is prepared to accept over as quickly as you dismiss the existing one, your issue will move forward with minimal disruption. The new lawyer could also guide you in reviewing your retainer contract and determining what measures you should take to remove your engagement with the old counsel.
Send a letter of termination: Follow the simple steps in the retainer contract when you’re confident about the method. If no protocol is indicated, your next action ought to be to write the lawyer a written statement. This letter should be sent through registered email so that you have documentation that it was acknowledged by the lawyer.
As a general rule, your letter should include the foregoing:
- Include a brief and professional statement advising the lawyer that you will not be using their services any longer. You are not required to give a justification.
- Ask that any ongoing proceedings be put on hold by the lawyer.
- Make a request for your documents to be delivered to you right away. Any statements you sent to the lawyer directing them on your matter, papers or evidence you given access to the lawyer, and other personal files or data should all be kept in the files. These documents are lawfully yours, and you have the right to retrieve both original versions and copies.
- If you provided a retainer, you must request a return for any amounts that were not collected.
- Get an itemized bill of fees including all outstanding expenses and fees, if there are any.
Complete the data transfer setup and inform the court: The lawyer must accept the letter and propose a plan for you to regain your documents. This must be finished as fast as possible so that your newly appointed counsel l can get to work right away
Furthermore, if your lawsuit has already been filed in court, you must notify the court of your switch of lawyers. This could be performed by the lawyer on their own or in coordination with the preceding lawyer.
What if your claim was handled on a contingency structure and you still owe expenses?
When a lawyer accepts to work on a matter without being charged in exchange for a share of any recovery, the issue is said to be on a conditional basis. This is a usual approach in personal injury lawsuits. Nothing prevents you from ending your connection with a lawyer who agreed to accept your issue on a contingency structure. They will, therefore, be able to restore expenses for work already completed on your matter.
Your new lawyer will almost always be liable for collecting your old counsel out of any recovery you receive in your lawsuit. Nothing prevents you from discontinuing the partnership if you still owe money for work completed on your account by the former lawyer. You will, nevertheless, be compelled to pay the lawyer for all outstanding fees.
How to reclaim your lawyer’s retainer?
However, there are many instances where a client’s lawyer has billed them unduly or unlawfully. This is frequently the case with contingency fee contracts or disbursements exclusions — out-of-pocket charges. If your lawyer overcharged you for things above what was settled no you might well be able to get your money refunded. You should be confident, nevertheless, that you were overcharged or that the costs do not pile up.
Take the following steps if you feel like you are stuck in the situation.
Obtain a copy of the retainer contract by contacting: The very first action here is to determine whether the payment was done in accordance with your contract. Lawyers must explain fully their charges and expenses involved to clients prior to acting on their account. The retainer should provide a breakdown of these costs. If things still don’t add up and are headed over the contract, you should consult a lawyer.
Talk to an expert lawyer about the payment: Getting in touch with a lawyer accomplishes two things. To begin with, it allows you to clarify your comprehension of the retainer contract, ensuring that you have not misunderstood your necessary fees. Secondly, it allows you to offer the lawyer a chance to correct the mistake, as you might be overcharged unknowingly.
Ask for a refund: If it appears out that you were significantly overcharged and the lawyer has taken no steps to rectify the situation, your next action should be to ask for a refund in writing. It is not just unethical to charge you more than what is essential; it may also be grounds for a civil lawsuit against the lawyer. If the lawyer nonetheless refuses to fix the situation, you can pursue disciplinary actions by notifying the Assessment Office of the Supreme Court of Justice.
The above writing might help you in getting insights into how you can fire a divorce lawyer. So consider those points and evaluate your case before firing your existing lawyer then switch to a new one.
Related Article: How to hire a car accident lawyer