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What if my attorney refuses to withdraw himself from my case?

San Jose, CA |

I sent a termination letter and the MC-050 form to my attorney but he is not consenting to it.
( withdrawing himself from this case)
Is there a time limit that I have to wait to hear back from him?
What If he never signs the form?
.How long should I wait for him to sign the MC-050 form, what are my other options?
I can not pay another attorney, neither can find someone on a contingency, so I want to represent myself.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Ms. Conan's response is incorrect. In California, the Substitution of Attorney form is the proper form for a party to replace his or her attorney in pro per in civil cases. There is no need for a motion (or court approval) once the client has terminated the services of the attorney, and the attorney has no discretion to refuse to sign the form. Criminal cases may require court approval.
    How long has it been since you sent the letter and the substitution form to the attorney? You should give the attorney a reasonable time to return the form (perhaps up to ten days?). Have you tried to call the attorney to inquire about the form?
    Ultimately, if the attorney refuses you should contact the State Bar (

    Nothing contained in this communication is intended to be, or shall be deemed as, legal advice, counsel, or services to on or behalf of any person or any entity. Usage of the Avvo website is not intended to and shall not create any obligation or relationship between the user and the Law Office of Herb Fox, including but not limited to, an attorney-client relationship. Further, the communications on this website between you and the Law Office of Herb Fox may not be privileged or confidential. Finally, your situation may be governed by deadlines that may or may not have already lapsed, and you may lose your rights if you do or did not act within those deadlines.

  2. I believe that the form you used is for substituting attorneys, not for forcing an attorney to withdraw. In other words, I believe you have to first hire another attorney and have the new attorney information filled in on the form before you can request your former attorney to substitute. What your current attorney needs to do (since you have terminated him or her) is to file a motion to withdraw, stating that you have decided to proceed pro se, which means you have chosen to represent yourself.

    Law Office of Elizabeth S. Conan, P.A. Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. I am licensed to practice law only in Florida.

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