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Is there a guide on how to know if you can remove or fire your lawyer "for cause"

Orlando, FL |

Its a contingency auto accident case in Florida.I dont want to be unreasonable I think he needs to go.Its over 1.5 years after the accident and I dont get my calls, letters requesting copies of the demand and other correspondence. I dont know if the guy has done anything on my case which is at least disrespectful and unethical behavior. I dont feel he should get a dime . He rightfully in my opinion (even if not legally) waives his claim of entitlement for the negligence and disrespect; but I dont want to be a jerk like he is. How do I know when I can remove for cause so he has no right of claim or lien on the settlement?

Q # 2.) Why wont the Insurance co. attorney tell me if he has been in contact with mine? He just says call your lawyer. Is he just rude or is there a law that says he is prohibited form communicating with me. If so what law? I want to read it. Or is it some professional courtesy he does for his Brother of the BAR similar to the police "blue wall of silence"? added in response to Master Lassen - I know one can remove counsel anytime accept in Criminal cases where mental competence is in question but that does not abrogate the claim for compensation for alleged service rendered prior to termination. To nullify that claim and avoid liability, one must have good cause. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I feel I have good cause but would like to be sure of the presumption in proper legal fashion prior to asserting the claim.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

Whether you can remove your attorney "for cause" is a factual issue which is key specific, so you probably will not find a guide on how to do that. First, you're probably already aware that you can discharger attorney at any time for cause or without cause. But if you discharger attorney without cause you will probably owe your attorney fees based upon the value of the services rendered. These fees are calculated considering many things but starting with the number of hours the attorney has expended in a reasonable hourly rate. This calculation has little to do with the amount of your damages.

If your attorney is simply failing to work on your case, you could discharge the attorney and wait for early later determination of whether the failure to work was with or without cause. In fact, that is what I would suggest after you discuss the matter completely with your lawyer.

In Florida in an auto accident case, one must satisfy a "verbal threshold unquote before making claims for any substantial personal injuries. This usually means that the lawyer must wait until the client has completed treatment (or least reached maximum medical improvement) before making a claim you there informally to the insurance company will formally by filing the lawsuit. But, of course that does not justify not returning your phone calls or let you know what is going on in your case.
In answer to your second question, it is a grievable offense for the insurance companies lawyer to discuss your case with you knowing that you are represented but without permission from your lawyer. So, if you send your lawyer letter of discharge and provide a copy of it to the insurance companies lawyer than the insurance companies lawyer will probably discuss the matter with you. Nevertheless, this is not a wise course of action because it will allow you to be manipulated by the insurance companies lawyer.

As an aside, your current lawyer will probably send a letter to the insurance company's lawyer claiming a lien on discharge. That will make it very difficult for you to work at this matter on your own.

This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed.

Jonathan Craig Reed

Jonathan Craig Reed

Posted

Mr. Miller has given you very good and complete advice. He is to be commended for taking the time to write a thorough answer.

Posted

A lawyer can be fired at any time by simply sending a termination letter.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

Asker

Posted

does that remove them from their right of claim and ability to lien rewards ? I know one can remove counsel anytime accept in Criminal cases where mental competence is in question but that does not abrogate the claim for compensation for alleged service rendered prior to termination. To nullify that claim and avoid liability, one must have good cause. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I feel I have good cause but would like to be sure of the presumption in proper legal fashion prior to asserting the claim.

Lawrence Joseph Marraffino

Lawrence Joseph Marraffino

Posted

If you fire your lawyer, they can still claim a lien for fees in Florida. If you have just cause, you can contest the lien, but you may have to do that in court. I believe you have the right to be fully comfortable with your attorney. I urge you to contact a new attorney. He/she will be able to explain these issues with you and allow you to make an informed decision.

Posted

I agree with the other attorneys. Your attorney may be fired at any time for any reason you see fit. However if he has done substantial work on your matter he is entitled to receive some compensation for his work in either cost, or settlement amount.

Contact me for further detailed questions and answers. 215-561-0877 DISCLAIMER: Matthew Solomon is licensed to practice law in both the State of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey.This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

You really should seek out another law firm.
Most of us will encourage "dissatisfied" clients to have a sit down with their lawyer.
Civil litigation is such that the best of lawyers have little office time and rely heavily on their staff to communicate in their absence.
But I think your situation is such that it is too late to restore your trust in your lawyer, so move on.

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