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Is there a form that I can use to oppose a motion to be relieved as counsel?

La Habra, CA |

My atty filed a motion to be relieved as counsel. I paid him over $8000 and this was 5 years ago for a divorce. Nothing has been done. He would send me stuff that he said he filed but he never did file with the court. I prepared the discovery myself and sent to him and he never sent to my wife. He sent out a few questions however my wife never responded. He said he would do a motion to compel but never did. I still haven't gotten my things from my wife. Now 5 years later he knows he needs to fix all his mistakes and now he wants to be relieved. what can I do? I paid him for these services already and now he wants out. I have emails from him and from me to him stating he is going to do something and he doesn't. I want to oppose this motion. How do I do this?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Find two new lawyers. One to handle your divorce and another to assess whether or not you have a malpractice case against the first lawyer. Why would you try to keep an attorney in your case if he has done the things you stated?

    Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at schwerin@ix.netcom.com. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


  2. No, there is no "form" you can fill out to oppose an attorney's motion to be relieved as counsel. You are entitled to file a written opposition, but you must specially prepare it.

    Attorneys have the “legal right to withdraw” just as the client has the “absolute right to discharge” the attorney. (Scott v Superior Ct (1928) 205 Cal 525, 531.) Therefore, unless the attorney failed to provide timely notice of motion, it is unlikely that you will be able to successfully oppose the motion.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


  3. you can submit a written opposition at least 9 court days prior to the hearing. However, the court will not force a lawyer to stay in a case.