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Should I fire my current lawyer?

New York, NY |

I'm the victim of an assault that will require lifelong care . I retained my attorney over 14 months ago ( shortly after the assault ) and his communication with me is horrible . I have a court date scheduled for late September , and so far there have been no depositions done from our side . I have done a deposition for the defense attorney ( also note : my attorney was on his laptop sending emails , etc during my depo ) . There has been no contact with my doctors to get an outline of what my care will be , how I can move forward now , etc . I've expressed my concern with lack of communication many times in the past , they assure me they are actively working on my case . I know this is 1 of the main complaints about lawyers , but I'm wondering if it's finally time to find someone else I'm comfortable with

Attorney Answers 8

Posted

If you want, then you can switch lawyers. The incoming lawyer will negotiate with the outgoing lawyer with respect to dividing up the legal fee. The legal fee does not effect your share of the settlement. The sooner you switch the more the new lawyer will receive and the less the old lawyer will receive.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

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Posted

Thanks everyone for your answers. My concern is that he has repeatedly lied to me (I'm still owed a check from 2 months ago for travel "The check is in the mail"), he states that he contacted my doctors (then the doctors call me wondering when he will be contacting them, which he still hasn't done) I was told I was going to have a "practice" deposition before my deposition (it didn't happen) and I still can't get an answer as to how much we are actually suing for. To answer a couple more questions that have come up in the replies, this is a lawsuit concerning a multi-million dollar company. I'm aware that there will be a lien for partial payment for the work that has been done, however, I don't know if I'm even able to contact another lawyer to discuss the case without jeopardizing my current client/attorney privilege?

Posted

Based on your question it seems that you already know the answer. You can fire your attorney at any time. You can find an attorney, or multiple attorneys, to interview on Avvo. However, please comtinue reading.

No one can give you better answers as to the reasons for how things are happening in your case better than your present lawyer. Speak with him first and express your concerns in a non-confrontational tone. Sometimes it is the Courts which delay an action, other times it is the defendants who refuse to appear - and motions may have been filed to compel their appearance. Fourteen months is not a long time for a case to already have had discovery started. Good luck with your case.

Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. 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. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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Posted

Thanks everyone for your answers. My concern is that he has repeatedly lied to me (I'm still owed a check from 2 months ago for travel "The check is in the mail"), he states that he contacted my doctors (then the doctors call me wondering when he will be contacting them, which he still hasn't done) I was told I was going to have a "practice" deposition before my deposition (it didn't happen) and I still can't get an answer as to how much we are actually suing for. To answer a couple more questions that have come up in the replies, this is a lawsuit concerning a multi-million dollar company. I'm aware that there will be a lien for partial payment for the work that has been done, however, I don't know if I'm even able to contact another lawyer to discuss the case without jeopardizing my current client/attorney privilege?

Brian C. Pascale

Brian C. Pascale

Posted

A deposition of the Plaintiff should never go forward without a meeting before to prepare. Further, if you feel he has lied to you then there is clearly a breakdown of the attorney/client relationship and you should move on fast. Speaking with another attorney will not void your attorney/client privilege with the prior counsel. The new attorney you consult will be just as bound as the prior one, even if you do not retain them.

Asker

Posted

Thanks very much Brian!

Posted

As my colleague indicates, switching attorneys is easy. As a client, you must feel comfortable with your attorney for a meaningful working relationship to exist. That being said, your present attorney has been on the case for some time now and a more practical solution may be sitting down with him to express your concerns. If you're still not satisfied at the end of the meeting then moving on would be the next step. I can say you may have some difficulty finding someone at this point to take over the case given the nature of the action, the probable lack of available insurance and the fact the case is already in suit. I think a serious sit down is in order.

Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change appropriately.

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Posted

Thanks everyone for your answers. My concern is that he has repeatedly lied to me (I'm still owed a check from 2 months ago for travel "The check is in the mail"), he states that he contacted my doctors (then the doctors call me wondering when he will be contacting them, which he still hasn't done) I was told I was going to have a "practice" deposition before my deposition (it didn't happen) and I still can't get an answer as to how much we are actually suing for. To answer a couple more questions that have come up in the replies, this is a lawsuit concerning a multi-million dollar company. I'm aware that there will be a lien for partial payment for the work that has been done, however, I don't know if I'm even able to contact another lawyer to discuss the case without jeopardizing my current client/attorney privilege?

Posted

Often its about management expectations, and always about communications. You always have teh right to discharge your attorney and retain a new one. However, this should be done with caution and prudence. Providing you have experienced, qualified and diligent counsel my strong suggestion is a face to face meeting. If you and the attorney cannot get on the same page, then perhaps a change is in order. The sooner you act the better. Good luck.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com

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Posted

Thanks everyone for your answers. My concern is that he has repeatedly lied to me (I'm still owed a check from 2 months ago for travel "The check is in the mail"), he states that he contacted my doctors (then the doctors call me wondering when he will be contacting them, which he still hasn't done) I was told I was going to have a "practice" deposition before my deposition (it didn't happen) and I still can't get an answer as to how much we are actually suing for. To answer a couple more questions that have come up in the replies, this is a lawsuit concerning a multi-million dollar company. I'm aware that there will be a lien for partial payment for the work that has been done, however, I don't know if I'm even able to contact another lawyer to discuss the case without jeopardizing my current client/attorney privilege?

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

What do you mean a check for travel? This raises a flag. Contacting another lawyer does not jeopardize a case.

Asker

Posted

I had to travel for my deposition. The case is in CA however I've recently relocated to NY. I was told the deposition costs would be covered 50/50 between defense/my attorney and I would be reimbursed immediately.

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

ah

Posted

If you can find someone to take over the case you should try. Here are the 2 problems (1) that attorney can assert a file lien for partial payment, and (2) it is an intentional tort. This means that you are probably suing a person without insurance. Unless there is an insurance company to indemnify the defendant in the event of a judgment, it becomes difficult if not impossible to actually collect on the monies you win. If there is insurance for the defendant and your current lawyer would be willing to waive a lien, our office and many others would take the case. If not, you're stuck.

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Posted

Thanks everyone for your answers. My concern is that he has repeatedly lied to me (I'm still owed a check from 2 months ago for travel "The check is in the mail"), he states that he contacted my doctors (then the doctors call me wondering when he will be contacting them, which he still hasn't done) I was told I was going to have a "practice" deposition before my deposition (it didn't happen) and I still can't get an answer as to how much we are actually suing for. To answer a couple more questions that have come up in the replies, this is a lawsuit concerning a multi-million dollar company. I'm aware that there will be a lien for partial payment for the work that has been done, however, I don't know if I'm even able to contact another lawyer to discuss the case without jeopardizing my current client/attorney privilege?

Michael J Palumbo

Michael J Palumbo

Posted

You can discuss your case with another attorney without breaching privilege. Why would you sue a company instead of a person for an assault? There may still be a liability issue but give us a call 1-877-996-6849.

Posted

Request a meeting with your attorney and ask to see what has been done. If you are unsatisfied, you can always switch. If you are satisfied, your fears will be gone. However, if you switch, the original attorney will have some share of the attorney's fees, which may create an issue of someone taking the case.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice which requires all the details, nor creates an attorney client relationship.

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Posted

If you are not comfortable with your lawyer, you can retain a new one by simply sending a termination letter, and calling one of the NY attorneys who answered your question above.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

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Posted

Perhaps your attorney is indifferent because its an assault case and there is no insurance policy to go after. Does the defendant have assets? Sounds like its time to find a new lawyer. You are certainly free to do so at any time.

My firm is a second generation family firm successfully handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases for over 35 years. "Let Our Family Help Your Family" www.kileylawfirm.com 516 466-7900

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Posted

Thanks for the reply James. There's actually a multi-million dollar insurance policy in play with the case.

James D. Kiley

James D. Kiley

Posted

No problem. Must be a Negligent supervision/security case? who's the deep pocket? a bar perhaps? Your attorney may or may not be dragging his feet. Depending on the County of venue, 14 months is not a long time. In Brooklyn, for example it takes six months after your file an RJI ( Request for Judicial Intervention) just to get a preliminary conference. Depositions would be three or four months after that and always subject to adjournment. By contrast in Queens, you'll get a conference in two weeks and discovery could be wrapped up in six months. If you are interested, you can check on the status of your case. Go to www.courts.state.ny.us Click on WebSupreme. Search by party..enter your name and County of venue and you can see the history of the case and deadlines for compliance conferences and filing trial readiness papers. I think you should get on your attorney's calendar and have a sit down with him or her and find out what they have done or plan to do. If you are unhappy, there are many qualified and highly experienced personal injury attorneys.. on Avvo alone. Good luck!

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