I had to reschedule 2 appts with my lawyer and missed a 3rd due to a family emergency. My lawyer got upset since my hearing is Jan 21 and said he cant represent me. He wants me to sign a SOA. Which I dont feel is in my best interest. He is threatening to file a motion if I dont sign it at my cost. I know he can file and I am hoping for a stay at my hearing of 30 days to get new counsel but my question is if he can legitimately charge me for his motion if it is his choice not to represent me?
Yes, you can be charged. The motion is part of required representation. I suppose if the motion is denied (unusual), you could make the argument you should not be charged. You do not mention the reason for the hearing. Ask your lawyer to obtain a reasonable continuance (30 to 60 days) and, if obtained, execute the substitution. That should make both of you happy.
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Absolutely. No doubt your attorney-client fee agreement says that you will pay for all work that the attorney is required to spend on your matter. When you refuse to sign a Substitution of Attorney form the attorney is required by law to seek legal permission to withdraw. If you wish to avoid the expense, sign the SOA. Unless substantial prejudice will result from the timing or method of the request to withdraw, the court is going to grant it anyway.
Good luck to you.
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It's better to cooperate with your attorney to terminate the relationship as amicably as possible. Otherwise, you will force your lawyer to file a motion to withdraw based on your failure to cooperate, which will be a red flag when you try to hire a new attorney.
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