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Can I change my legal councel at any point in trial?

Malone, NY |

I was on stand when the court house closed and we needed to reschedule our trial date. I was told that I can't discuss anything that happened while I was on the stand with my lawyer. I don't feel as though I am receiving the best representation at this point. Can I change my councel if I'm still considered to be on stand?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I agree with my colleague. While you do have the right to fire your attorney, the timing you mention - mid trial - may disrupt the continuity of your trial, especially if a jury is involved. Additionally, the type of case - civil v. criminal - may play into the answer.

Although you may not discuss your testimony with your attorney, you can discuss your concerns about the quality of his representing you. If I were you, I would discuss my concerns with my attorney, without discussing the testimony itself. Perhaps after identifying and discussing with your attorney the representation issues you feel are falling short of your expectations, you may be able to work out your differences and keep continuity in your ongoing trial.

Good Luck.

The author of this posting is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. He specializes in litigation matters relating to personal injury, construction accidents, auto accidents, slip and fall, dog bite, contract litigation, property litigation, civil rights, ERISA, and Social Security matters in federal, state and local courts. This posting is intended as general information only, is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship.


You can try, but judge will very likely not approve when you are mid-trial. I don't know why the advice given should cause you to have a problem with this attorney, unless there are other issues not disclosed here.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.


You may be able to but it's not as good idea. Judges in non-criminal cases often order a party not to discuss testimony with the lawyer during a recess.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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