Court proceedings are rare for most people and can be stressful, especially if your lawyer drops your case.
Understanding why attorneys withdraw, ethical obligations, legal rights, and the related circumstances is crucial for clients.
Main Reasons an Attorney Would Withdraw From a Case
There are potentially many reasons why an attorney would withdraw from a case.
However, there are a few main reasons why a lawyer may withdraw from a case, including the following:
The client fails to pay attorney’s fees as agreed
Once you hire an attorney and agree on fees, you’ll sign a contract detailing payment schedules.
Your attorney is entitled to the agreed compensation. If you don’t pay as per the contract, your lawyer may withdraw.
It’s important to discuss any payment issues promptly and plan to catch up to avoid complications.
Also read: How Much Is a Bankruptcy Lawyer In New York
The client withholds information, is untruthful, or is acting fraudulently
An attorney needs all relevant information from the client to represent them effectively.
Clients should disclose everything, as attorneys assure confidentiality.
Withholding facts can hinder the case strategy.
If a client is dishonest, the attorney might withdraw.
Lawyers must adhere to professional conduct rules, and aiding in fraud can lead to disbarment.
If a client requests illegal actions, the attorney should file to withdraw from the case.
The attorney and client disagree on legal strategies or have conflicting personalities
If an attorney and client can’t agree on the case strategy or have constant disagreements, it affects the case’s presentation.
Agreement on strategy, potential compensation, and evidence is crucial. If disagreements persist, it might be best for both parties to part ways.
Attorneys can file to withdraw if clients oppose these critical aspects.
The attorney becomes aware of a conflict of interest that would prevent ethical representation of the client
If the attorney realizes that he or she has a conflict of interest, that attorney may need to withdraw from the case.
For example, if an attorney is representing a client on an armed robbery charge and later learns that one of the eyewitnesses for the prosecution is his or her close friend or relative, the attorney may have a conflict of interest.
In such a situation, the attorney may need to withdraw from representing the client.
The client terminates the attorney’s representation
Clients can dismiss their attorneys if they’re dissatisfied, leading the lawyer to file a withdrawal motion.
Even if the client initiated it, they should consult another attorney.
Getting a second legal opinion is a wise step to decide whether to continue with the first attorney or find a new one for the case.
Can a Lawyer Drop a Client in the Middle of a Case?
If a lawyer wants to withdraw from a case midway, they require the judge’s permission.
Once a case schedule is set, withdrawal becomes harder.
Courts rarely allow withdrawal close to trial due to potential delays and prejudice.
Lawyers can withdraw under specific circumstances, but they must provide evidence for the motion to be granted.
How Does an Attorney Withdraw From a Case?
Certainly, attorneys can withdraw from cases under certain conditions. To do so:
- The attorney must have a valid reason.
- The client must be notified and given an explanation.
- A withdrawal motion is filed with the court.
- The court may decide with or without a hearing.
- During a hearing, the attorney provides reasons, and the client can oppose.
- The court makes the final decision.
Withdrawal from pretrial appearances can be denied if it causes delays or prejudices any party involved.
What to Do If Your Attorney Files a Motion to Withdraw?
It doesn’t happen every day, but you might wonder, “What happens if an attorney withdraws from a case?” First, decide whether you really want to continue working with an attorney who wants to withdraw from your case.
Of course, it depends on the lawyer’s reasons for withdrawing.