Should I fire my lawyer? Here are five reasons why

Sometimes, as a client, you might face a dilemma and want to fire your lawyer.

The reasons to fire your lawyer vary on a person-to-person basis.

In this article, I explore five common reasons why one should fire their lawyer.

Five reasons why you should fire your lawyer

Should I fire my lawyer, Here are five reasons why

1. If they engage in client poaching

Client poaching is an unethical practice.

Accordingly, a lawyer should never approach you to handle your case. For example, a lawyer should never send their “emissaries” or show up at the hospital, seeking to handle your personal injury claim.

You should consider lawyers who engage in this practice as an immediate red flag from the onset.

In case your lawyer engages in such a practice, it is wise to report them to the lawyer’s bar association for unethical solicitation.

2. If you’re dissatisfied with their work

Unsatisfaction with a lawyer’s work or style of work is a ground for firing your lawyer.

You can be dissatisfied with a lawyer’s work if you find their communication style incompatible with yours.

Poor communication includes when your lawyer fails to answer or return phone calls or emails within a reasonable amount of time.

A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation.

Furthermore, a lawyer should keep in confidence information relating to the representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other laws.

3. If they are not honest about their lawyer fees

For personal injury cases, it is standard for the lawyer to work on a contingent fee basis.

In other cases, a lawyer might charge a retainer or use hourly rates.

At all times, it is important to make sure that the lawyer does not have unreasonable billing practices that might put you at a loss. For example, a lawyer may decide to use an expensive courier instead of a cheaper alternative or they might send late invoices.

It is misconduct and a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct when a lawyer steals his client’s funds.

Not only is such an act criminal but it also reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.

4. If they engage in unethical behavior or misconduct

The American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct contains a code of standards and professional ethos that regulates how lawyers interact with their clients, colleagues, and members of the public.

These rules forbid lawyers from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

Therefore, lawyers need to behave ethically as they swear an oath to uphold certain ethics. Some of unethical behavior and misconduct by lawyers include

  • Mishandling funds e.g., a client’s settlement fees
  • Breaking your attorney-client privilege (or confidentiality)
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Failing to inform you of settlement offers

5. If you think they are incompetent and unable to handle your case

A good lawyer should always provide their client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights and obligations and explain their practical implications.

Some signs of an incompetent lawyer include:

  • Failure to file your case documents on time.
  • Poor organization skills. For example, lack of case preparation and inadequate record keeping.

It is important that one hires a lawyer who is able to collect all evidence submitted or received as the result of an investigation, pleadings from the other parties (or their own), and any other material related to the proceeding.

Incompetence by a lawyer is conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Conclusion

At any stage before a case has been resolved through the justice system, one can decide to fire their lawyer.

The reasons why you should fire your lawyer are personal and specific to you.

Putting up with a lawyer you aren’t comfortable with increases the chances of losing a lawsuit.