What happens if your lawyer drops you from your contract. after you paid like twentythousand dollars?

Asked about 2 years ago - Chico, CA

I had a case that i retained my lawyer for but during that first case i got a second charge. ok so two cases which i paid another four thousand dollars for him to represent me. My lawyer works in a two lawyer office but they are not partners. After my prelim hearing my lawyer said that he was taking another job and couldnt be my lawyer anymore. Is that legal for him to do since both cases are not finished.he told me i had to find another lawyer

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Clauson Timothy Smoot

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . First, if I had a lawyer who did not want to represent me any more, I would want to find another lawyer because the first lawyer is not likely to have the motivation to represent me well. Lawyers need motivation too. Second, if the lawyer represents you in a case and you do not consent to his withdrawing, the lawyer must file a motion and get the Judge's permission to withdraw. Often Judges do not allow withdrawal without a good reason. I recommend you find another lawyer.

  2. Rhonda Diane Ellifritz

    Contributor Level 13

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . It would depend on the contract you signed. If he has not completed what was promised, and he refuses to refund amounts owed to you, I would call the state bar.

    Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing,... more
  3. Bryant Keith Martin

    Contributor Level 18

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Since he has appeared in court for you, he can’t just quit. He must get consent of the court. Also, it sounds like he should be refunding you part of your retainer. If he won’t , contact the State Bar of California :
    www.calbar.org/

    DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is... more
  4. Robert Lee Marshall

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Most criminal defense attorneys have a two-stage contract in felony cases. The first stage covers services through the preliminary hearing; the second stage covers proceedings after the preliminary hearing, through the trial.

    Generally, an attorney does not have to continue to represent the defendant after the preliminary hearing if the second-stage fees are not paid.

    However, it does depend on the actual fee agreement you signed. Without reviewing the specifics, it's hard to tell whether the attorney has fulfilled the first stage of the contract.

    Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create... more

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