What do I include in the letter? They have done absolutely nothing for me. I receive constant calls from creditors trying to collect on past due dr. bills and have to go thru the scrutiny with admissions for every follow-up dr visit due to the large past due balance. I asked if there was any way they could help me with this & was told "they know the drill". So I am the one calling & holding creditors off. Not a single LOP has been sent. They were no help in the beginning when I was trying to get in to see an orthopedist. I was told in the E.R. not to go to just any dr--I needed a good orthopedic surgeon. Not easy to do without a lot of $ up front. That was mainly why I hired an atty. & stated so to them. It was 5 wks before I saw an orthopedist--no thanks to them.
I recommend talking to another lawyer who you can request to have your case transferred to. This is not an uncommon practice and your new attorney can facilitate the transfer of your case. Generally, when I do this I send a letter informing the prior attorney that I've been retained to take over a file and my client signs it. Pretty simple, actually.
The simple answer is that you send your attorney a letter stating that you are terminating their services and that you want them to send you two things: (1) a copy of your file; and (2) a letter stating that they have withdrawn and no longer represent you.
There have been several questions lately on AVVO about what is involved in firing an attorney, so if you are able to access those questions you might read them. Your attorney may try to "maintain an interest" in your case, meaning the attorney will withdraw from representing you, but will tell the insurance company paying the claim that he/she expects to be paid out of the settlement proceeds when the case settles.
Whether your attorney is entitled to do that is fact-dependent and can be somewhat of a gray area, but if you are firing the attorney "for cause", they are not entitled to maintain an interest. A "for cause" firing would happen if the attorney has essentially neglected the representation, e.g. by doing no real work on your case, refusing to respond to reasonable requests for information, etc.
If you believe you are firing your attorney for cause, you should probably state as much in the letter you send, and inform the attorney you do not expect them to maintain an interest.
Before firing your current attorney however, it is always a good idea to voice your concerns to make sure there isn't a misunderstanding that can be addressed.
If you are sure you are going to fire your current attorney, you might want to interview other attorneys now.
Disclaimer: answers posted by attorney Daragh Carter to questions posted on AVVO are NOT privileged or confidential and will not and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship between attorney Daragh Carter and you or anyone else.
If the attorney has filed a claim, you will have to have another substitute before the Court, or appear pro se in the place of your former attorney. The better option is to have another attorney step in.
You need to request, in writing, a copy of your entire file, including the executed power of attorney in which you retained your lawyer. Making that request in writing should prompt your lawyer to pick up the phone or schedule a meeting. Then you can address your concerns, and perhaps get things back on track. Otherwise, once you have your file, you should have it reviewed by another lawyer. If you get no response to your written request for the file, then it is probably time to file a grievance. You can do so by calling the State Bar of Texas, or by filling out a form on their website.
I suggest you hold off on firing your attorney you have an opinion from another lawyer about whether you have strong grounds to fire the first lawyer. If you "fire" the first lawyer without cause, you might end up owing hourly fees and expenses, or otherwise a percentage of your recovery, and you will also owe the second attorney. It is very difficult to settle a case when lawyers are fighting over fees. Texas generally imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury actions. You should not delay in moving your case forward one way or another.
Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services. See http://zgourides.com for more information.
Do not fire your old attorney until you have talked to a new attorney. The new attorney will go over the ramifications and advise the best way to transfer the file.
This is not legal advice. You should always discuss the specifics of your issue in person with an attorney. Be aware that there are time limits on all claims that depend on the kind of claim, so do not delay in seeking an attorney.
You would probably be better served consulting with other experienced personal injury attorneys and finding one that you are comfortable with and letting them do what is necessary to have the file transferred. It is still not a good idea for you to do this without an attorney.
In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.
I agree with the others that suggest that you consult with a new attorney first. While the new attorney cannot give you legal advice on how to pursue your claim, they can advise you as to the ramifications of firing your existing attorney. If that attorney is fired for cause they would then generally not be entitled to maintain a fee interest in your case as opposed to just up and firing your attorney without good cause.
By answering your inquiry, no attorney client relationship exists. Unless and until we enter into a written fee agreement contract we do not represent you nor have we undertaken the obligation to do so. Whether you hire us or another lawyer, you should absolutely hire an attorney. These matters are very complicated and there are certain time periods within which you must act.
There really isn't anything special that you have to include in the letter. You just state that you are discharging the attorney and law firm from any further representation on your case, and that you are demanding return of your original file. (They might tell you that they will only send a copy, but you are entitled to the original file). Try to fax the letter to them so that you have proof that they received it.
But before you do anything, you might want to call around to other attorneys before you discharge your present attorney. Any personal injury attorney in the DFW area would be willing to give you a free consultation and try to help you come up with a game plan.
"You're Fired"...just like Apprentice. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney (10) with a LOW contingency fee, less than thirty percent, so you don't get hurt twice. Good luck.
I suggest you meet with the attorney to discuss the case. If you are not satisfied after the meeting, then simply terminate him. In the interim, I also start do research in finding a new personal injury attorney. Good luck.
By providing this legal analysis of the issue presented, no attorney/client relationship is being formed. Additionally, attorney is not agreeing to represent the individual who presented the question concerning the legal issue. A signed retainer agreement is required before an attorney /client relationship is established. The analysis provided is meant solely to provide general guidance about the legal issue presented.
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