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Attorney of record

Dallas, TX |

My attorney left the firm. At what time is he no longer my attorney of record?

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Attorney answers 3


He's going to need to file something with the court if he expects to be relieved as counsel of record

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He is still you attorney until he either files a motion to withdraw or a motion to substitute counsel. Speak to the firm that you hired to get an answer on who is taking over your case. It is a rather simple procedure to replace the attorney of record. Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: My answers are only intended as general legal advice based on my experience. They are not intended to be a binding legal opinion nor to create an attorney-client relationship.


Generally speaking, a lawyer who appears in a criminal case as "attorney of record" remains the attorney of record until released by the court.

A bit more complex in a case where the lawyer who appears is with a law firm.

Here's why.

Let's say a defendant hires a firm with three partners, John Doe, Ronnie Roe, and Joe Blow. The defendant expects to be represented by partner John Doe, signs a contract with the firm that says Mr. Doe will be primarily responsible for the case, and things start out with Mr. Doe appearing for the defendant. Then Mr. Doe leaves the firm. The defendant thinks Mr. Doe is still his attorney. But, the firm got the fee before Mr. Doe went out on his own. So, what happens? Mr. Doe and his former partners would have to work out any financial arrangements about the fee the client paid to the firm. But, Mr. Doe and his former partners would have to work with the client whether the client wanted to go with Mr. Doe or stick with the firm.

My suggestion is to meet with the lawyer who was handling your case and discuss the above issues with him or her. To lawyers, these issues are not rocket science. But, when a lawyer leaves a firm, sometimes misunderstandings happen and the client ends up confused.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

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