If you are in the middle of a legal case and your lawyer isn’t living up to their promise, you obviously have a problem. The performance of your lawyer can have a major impact on whether your case is a success, and how big a success. In fact, your case could get dismissed if your lawyer doesn’t do his or her job correctly. Basically, it’s a big deal if your lawyer is not performing at the level you expect.
The good news is, you can fire your lawyer and get a new one. However, if that’s the direction you want to go, there are a few tips to keep in mind concerning how to change your lawyer. If you follow this advice, you can make sure you give your lawyer the boot in a way that doesn’t hurt your case.
- Don’t fire your lawyer before you have a new one
A common mistake is to get infuriated with your lawyer, and while your blood is up, to really let him or her have it and fire them right then and there. The problem is, as satisfying as that choice can be, you may destroy your case by venting that way. You need another lawyer in place so a transition can be made quickly and smoothly without missing important deadlines. So, calm down, play the long game, and then enjoy letting your lawyer go once you and your case are protected.
- Get recommendations next time
It’s understandable if this is your first go-round with the legal system that you simply went with the first name that sounded like it came with integrity and a winning edge. Now that you’re a little wiser, spend some time finding a lawyer that comes with more than just an impressive name. Check websites and ask around to find a lawyer that has a good reputation for being attentive to their clients and getting the right results.
- Expect slowdowns
Even if you switch to the best lawyer in your area and you do it before you can the last one, you should still expect some slow down in your case. Lawyers are required by law to transfer any documents and evidence that you brought to the case, but that doesn’t include any notes or strategies your previous lawyer made. In fact, a new lawyer will basically start from scratch, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
- Only do it once
Firing your first lawyer is an understandable choice if the case isn’t going the way you want. But just be aware you can probably only pull that trick once. That’s for two major reasons: first, multiple changes can frustrate judges with all the delays, which might lead to your case being dismissed. And second, word gets around quickly between lawyers, and if you’ve proven hard to please, you may find it next to impossible to find a third lawyer willing to try to keep you happy.
Getting a new lawyer may be the best decision you ever make. It might make the difference between winning your case and getting it dismissed. Just make sure if that is the right choice for you that you do it in a smart way by following the advice above.