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Can I change attorneys (on contingency) if mine says the case will fall apart if witnesses are uncooperative?

Crown Point, IN |

Injured in a car accident by a police squad driven by a police officer's son (juvenile). We are suing the son, the father and the city. The son was arrested but not charged for auto theft. After two years, our attorneys are saying we do not have enough witnesses to successfully sue the city.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

The simple answer is YES. You ALWAYS have the right to be represented by the attorney of your choice. Changing attorneys after 2 years MUST not be taken lightly. Your present attorney has probably presented multiple witnesses and taken a number of depositions which means he would have invested a great deal of time and money in your case. You must realize that the attorney is entitled to be compensated for his effort. This means that any new attorney would have to pay the first attorney OR you would have to pay both attorneys.

You have NOT disclosed the nature and extent of your injuries or why you assert the driver of the squad to be at-fault. The analysis is NO different from any other auto case and almost certainly would NOT rest on eywitness testimony so much as the accident reconstructionist you would have hired.

Moreover, assuming your attorney is correct, how do you expect a different outcome by changing attorneys? Why would you think your attorney WANTS to eliminate his compensation for the last 2 years of effort?

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links: ccandiano@themargolisfirm.com http://www.themargolisfirm.com

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Ronald Frederick Layer

Ronald Frederick Layer

Posted

You need to find out from your current lawyer exactly what is meant by " we don't have enough witnesses to sue the city". Meet with him or her and have the problems with the case spelled out to you. If you are not satisfied with the answers you certainly can change attorneys. HOWEVER, the second lawyer is responsible to pay the fees and expenses of the first lawyer out of any settlement or award at trial, so another lawyer might not be interested in taking the case IF there really are liablilty problems. GOOD LUCK

Posted

Yes

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You have the right to hire or fire any lawyer you want, at anytime. The best advice is to have an in-person meeting with your current lawyer to try and work out your differences, especially after two years. That being said, if that does not work out, you can hire a new lawyer at any time. You may have to pay your prior lawyer a portion of your future settlement for the work that they performed, so this is something that you want discuss with your new lawyer.

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Yes, you always have the right to be represented by the attorney of your choice.

Chris Wyant Attorney at Law Brown Tompkins Lory & Mastrian 608 East Market Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46202 317-631-6866 phone 317-685-2329 fax cwyant@btlmlaw.com www.btlmlaw.com

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