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Can and how do I dismiss my attorney?

Jamestown, NY |

My court appointed attorney is awful. He is horribly rude, telling me to "shut up and listen" on our very first phone conversation. He can be rude, fine, I didn't let it bother me. He has also given me wrong information, bullied me, etc.. It is very close to our trial and I'm not sure my chances of obtaining a new lawyer on such sort notice, but I'd like to try. What is the best thing to do and how do I dismiss my current lawyer? Is it advisable for me to represent myself?

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Attorney answers 4


It is not advisable to represent yourself. If you not able to communicate with your attorney you can ask the court about switching. This request should be made as soon as possible. Good luck.

I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


You have to ask the Judge. Representing yourself is a bad idea.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Representing yourself is a terrible and very dangerous idea. Personality conflicts and misunderstandings between attorneys and clients are, unfortunately, very common. You can ask the judge to relieve your present attorney and appoint another, but you cannot be confident that your request will be granted. A mutual decision on the part of both you and your present attorney to listen respectfully to each other and for each to try to understand the other's point of view is the best remedy, I know it can be hard because you are to some extent coming from very different directions, but that is the way.


Public defenders do not have to listen to their clients go on for hours about how they are innocent. They will often be rude and abrupt if they think you are not telling them the truth, telling them too much information, or not listening. retained lawyers will be polite and listen to you talk all day at $300 per hour. They have to worry about being fired, public defenders hope you get a private lawyer. You should listen to his advice and if he is not a good lawyer retain another one or ask for another public defender.

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