“We are grandparents with custody of our granddaughter, and we will possibly be changing attorneys due to a lack of communication on his part. We don't know how else to do this expect just say it, we are quite possibly looking to terminate our relationship with the current attorney (who seems largely disinterested) and obtain an attorney who is knowledgeable, has the experience necessary to help us retain custody of our granddaughter. How do we do this and what should we look for when we are trying to find a new attorney.”
I agree with the other attorney. Interview other attorneys first before you fire this one. You say that you have custody, does that mean that you have temporary custody as a result of this lawsuit? Did that attorney win temporary custody for you? When is your trial? Can you afford a new retainer right now? My retainer for this type of case is $4,000. Other attorney's retainers may be more or less. Don't depend just upon retainers by also find out hourly rates. That can make a big difference over time.
There are some really bad inattentive attorneys. I've picked up the pieces after some of them. BUT I have also seen many clients mistake another attorney's inattention for--the case being right where you want it and nothing needs to be done this moment. If your attorney just won you temporary custody, has served the other side with discovery and is awaiting their responses, he is waiting on the results of a social study, there is no trial date or trial is 5-6 months away.....what do you want him to be doing that he isn't? Not doing work when there is work to be done right now is bad lawyering. Fire the bum. Not doing work when it is time to rest, is good common sense, and necessary for your attorney to balance his cases and his life. So before you change horses mid stream try to find out from talking with your attorney which situation this is. Know that in hiring a new attorney you will be spending money to just re-educate that new attorney about your case.
Start by looking at client and attorney reviews here on Avvo, it is the best source for that anywhere. If the attorney has happy clients and is respected by his peers, then you are likely to be happy with him/her.
Also be sure to interview several attorneys. See how they respond to you, how quickly, how intelligently, how professionally. Look at their website. Ask about their experiences in your specific type of case.
It is really hard to figure out which attorney is the best, but it is well worth the investigation.
Use the find a lawyer tab here and look for someone with experience in family law and guardianships of minors. When talking to them, disclose that you are currently represented and why you are looking for new counsel. Call several and find someone you are comfortable with. When you find someone, they can help you make sure the transition is smooth.