Ex-attorney filed a lien against the case
check with your ex-attorney and/or the adverse insurance company to see if the ex-attorney filed a lien against the case. You'll need to know this to determine what the bottom line is to you should you settle the case. This number will be added to the amounts owed to medical providers and/or insurance companies that paid for your bills and/or wage loss that have a right to recover those amounts by subrogation.
Get a new lawyer right away
Ask the court that proceedings be stayed until you have a new lawyer in the case. The other side may try to sandbag you and proceed in a way to use your legal ignorance against you. Write to the judge ask for time to get a new lawyer and get a new lawyer right away.
Lawyers do drop clients for a variety of reasons
lawyers drop clients because of client-staff conflicts. This doesn't mean that your attorney was mad at you, or thought you did something wrong. He may just believe that another firm might be better for you in light of counterproductive conflict (personality, the time your require, etc.). Also, it's possible that your attorney missed something about your case, and that another attorney will not. From time to time, our firm takes in a client that has been turned away by another attorney that was mistaken about an important part of his/her case. As to the "how long" question, the answer is "yesterday."