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How does a plaintiff communicate a risk to the defense in regards to what plans are if fair settlement cannot be reached?

San Francisco, CA |

In a complex case on a matter the state has been so so on that could go either way, how does a plaintiff communicate to the defense such plans that if the large case were to actually move forward into discovery and trial, that the plaintiff is going to be switching from the general practice firm to a very well known specialist in that area of law, who has won the same big cases in other states and has much greater credentials? I am about 60/40 on the issue as the case has other personal factors in it and id prefer it to settle sooner but i aslo think its a good thing to fight for. The better attorney has expressed extreme interest, and plans to take it to the supreme court if need be. Perhaps this factor could also help encourage a more fair settlement negotiation...?

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Filed under: Discovery
Attorney answers 3


Changing lawyers is a big step and from your question, it is clear that you have not thought this through and are far from sure what to do. You have a lawyer, and unless your lawyer is letting you down in some way, you would be well advised to let your lawyer handle the negotiations and keep quiet about getting another lawyer. You have absolutely no business suggesting to the other side that you are thinking about changing lawyers. It would be a slap at the lawyer you now have, and would not send the message you want to send. See how the negotiations go. If there is an offer consider it on its merits. If there is no offer you will have no choice but to fight on, and at that point you can decide whether you want to change lawyers, or perhaps take on the "better" lawyer as trial counsel without discharging your present lawyer.

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Well, besides the fact that you come off pretty rude, the current lawyer has repeatedly said she didnt know how to calculate the case. Its with a bigger firm that i realize now specializes in consumer class actions, and not much in employment. This attorney has been incredibly vague and has failed to contact me very much at all during the entire process. She acts as if she doesnt believe she can handle the case, but other attorneys have been bitting pretty hard at the matter.


Unless the matter is settled soon, I would retain the better attorney and follow his/her advice. Don't let the other side know your plans on changing attorney's as you will simply undermine your present attorney.


If you are the party and are represented by counsel, then you should not be communicating with the other side at all. You can explain your plans to your current attorney and have him or her communicate to the other side. Or, if you aren't happy with your current attorney, just go and hire the new one, and let the new attorney handle the case.