if the new attorney accepts us, that is! His deccision is pending, after he speaks to the other party. He is not our attorney yet, and are unaware if this new letter from the former counsil will get him to get into a positive decision faster, or get him away. What do you think?
Well, I'd still be candid with the new prospective attorney, you want to get off on the right foot showing an attitude of trust and good communication. If he doesn't take the case, you'll find someone else if it's a good case (I assume it's a personal injury case on contingency). If you have trouble finding a new attorney, that will tell you something too (they think the case is weak or they'll spend more than they're likely to get).
Thank you Jack, your answer is very informative. When we spoke to the potential lawyer yesterday we said we intent to withdraw. Insted, we got the note that the existing lawyer is withdrawing from the case. Is it a better news for the potential lawyer, that the former lawyer is withdrawing?
As Mr. Davidson above wisely suggested, it depends on whether you are prejudiced by the withdrawal, which in turn depends on how close to a trial you are or how much he has engaged in settlement negotiations. From your question, it sounds like not much has happened in your case, but it has dragged on with ineffective assistance of counsel. My experience is that the new attorney will already know about the probably bad reputation of Attorney #1 in this regard and it won't be a problem. In any instance, usually either an attorney can withdraw with client and court approval in some instances, or can certainly be "fired" and then must withdraw. Based on the facts as you've laid out, the "your fired"/"no I quit" tango here is a meaningless face-saving gesture on the attorney's part.
In the letter, he also makes us obligated for a dollar amount cost, and “reasonably attorney’s fees for services rendered to date. He adds “the office is in the process of preparing an invoice which will be forwarded to you and we request your immediate attention to the payment of the same”.
He is withdrawing, why is he asking us to pay him immediately on his cost and fees? Is there any law that regulates this? We had a contingency agreement that he had to get a contingency fee if he won the cases. Instead he is withdrawing, yet saying you have to pay. As of now, we have no other attorney, and the prospect of having one is still unclear. Can you please explain what is this and how to handle?
If it's a contingency, per your original agreement, you don't have to pay. There are also often fee arbitration panels run by your state or county bar association and attorney disciplinary committees. If the agreement was a contingency agreement that you only had to pay if there was a settlement or judgment, he's going to have a hard time billing you if he was the one who withdrew without your consent. But maybe a MA lawyer can help me out here with more specific advice....
Attorney Lebowitz, I posted the comment below to Attorney Davidson some moments ago. You guys have made me think a lot about what this means to our cases and their future potential, but also to what to look forward, which is much more important. I wrote a long note, which I will share with you as soon as I am finished, but I just wanted to say thank you, so many thanks indeed for at least fighting to keep justice intact and for sharing valuable insights with people in need of justice.
"I agree with you Att. Davidson about his unorthodox way of going beyond his scope and area of responsibility. Your comment made me think a lot not only the quality of the attorney I am parting with, but mostly about what am I going to get....
To think that the potential attorney is one of the top ten attorneys at my state, it really makes me wonder, why is he called top-10. I am really confused here as to what justice means to you, guys, and what is that makes the 10 ten attorneys distinguish from the larger group, when they violate even the most basic laws. My biggest context is of where do I go from here, where I part from one attorney who clearly has grave misconduct in his file, to a potential one which does start his client-attorney relationship by surpassing his mandate and ignoring law? I wonder where did justice in the old terms go, and more practically where do I find a top10/not top10 attorney who really would puts justice and representation in the center of his attention, rather than think in finacial terms (return-on-investment, dollar value of a case,) etc?