Wednesday, May 2, 2007

How To Know Whether To Fire Your Attorney

When you are in the midst of a divorce or some other family law issue, it is easy to take out your anger and frustration on your attorney. Often times a person feels compelled to fire their attorney or seek new counsel, not because their attorney is doing a bad job, but because they feel that their attorney is the reason why their case is not going their way. Firing an attorney just because you don't believe you are getting what you feel you deserve is dangerous for many reasons. First and foremost, attorney hopping sends up red flags to lawyers and if you have had more than one attorney, chances are the more credible lawyers will not take your case, because they know that they will not be able to make you happy. Secondly, it is expensive to have a new attorney brought up to speed on your case, and may cost you more in attorneys' fees in the long run. With that being said, I still think there are occasions where it is necessary for an attorney and a client to part ways. If you are trying to determine whether you should retain new counsel for your family law case here are some tips to insure that your decision is driven by the fact that you have lousy counsel and not because you are simply frustrated.

Signs Its Time To Find A New Attorney

1. Your phone calls are not returned within twenty-four (24) hours by someone in your attorney's office.
2. Your monthly bills or statements either don't reflect work actually done, or are not descriptive enough for you to determine what work has been completed, despite your request for more detailed statements.
3. Your attorney shows up late for a scheduled hearing, mediation or other meeting regarding your case on more than one occasion.
4. Your attorney is unprepared for Court hearings, mediation, depositions, etc.
5. Your attorney acts unprofessionally either towards you or opposing counsel on more than one occasion.
6. Your attorney fails to keep you informed about the happenings in your case.
7. You feel your attorney does not have your best interests in mind when deciding to proceed with litigation or settle a case.
8. Your attorney has been disbarred, suspended or reprimanded by the State Bar Association.
9. Your attorney misappropriates funds in his attorney trust account.
10. Your case is not moving forward towards conclusion because of your attorney's failure to act and not for some other mitigating reason.

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