In general, attorneys should be responsive to your requests, but there may be circumstances in your situation that make things more complicated.
At peak times, we receive so many questions that it may take longer for one or more of our loyal Avvo lawyer-answerers to get back to you. The Avvo Staff Moderator's goal is to give you some preliminary information and guidance regarding your legal situation while you wait for an attorney in your area to respond.
Keep in mind that we are MODERATING questions and not giving definitive answers regarding any legal situation. The laws of each state are unique, and our moderation is designed to simply point you in the right direction.
The Avvo Staff Moderator
In general, the client may terminate the attorney's representation. The Rules of Professional Conduct require that the attorney withdraw from representation upon discharge by the client. There are very rare circumstances in which a Court can refuse to allow an attorney to withdraw but instead require the attorney to continue representation of the client. An attorney's 2-week delay in acknowledging the client's termination of representation, particularly when there is an imminent hearing immediately thereafter, may cause the client serious prejudice and reflects a potential breach of the attorney's continuing duty of loyalty to the client. The opposing party and the Court, unaware of the attorney's discharge, will undoubtedly rely on the attorney's "apparent authority" to act on behalf of the client and could therefore potentially bind the client. Beyond the duty to the client, the lawyer also has a duty of candor to the Court. By appearing on your behalf after having been fired, without disclosing that fact to the Court creates yet another potential ethics violation. The earlier suggestion that you contact the State Bar disciplinary counsel is a good one. Depending on what happened, you may want to seek out an attorney in your area who is willing to represent clients in legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims.