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My attorney quit on me after having a conversation with the defendants. Can she do this?

Joliet, IL |

I was fired after disclosing to my employer that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I hired an attorney. During the 180 day EEOC investigation period, she told me that she was going to have a conversation with the woman who started the harassment towards me when I returned to work. This woman was not a supervisor. Four days after this phone conversation, my attorney quit on me claiming the case having "no merit"...when she said it did have merit when she signed the contract.

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Attorney answers 3


This is a tricky issue. Oftentimes, the attorney who takes on a case may think it is a strong case at the outset, but then, as additional facts are learned, it becomes clear that the case has no merit. I obviously cannot comment on your case, and I'm sure you believe in your case, but you must understand that employment cases are difficult for to employees win. Your attorney would not be doing you a favor if he/she told you how great your case was if it has problems. I do recommend, however, that you get additional opinions from other attorneys. Many experienced employment lawyers, myself included, will provide a free consultation. Best of luck to you!

This answer is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. You should be aware that no attorney-client relationship is established through this answer and none will be established without a personal consultation and the signing of an engagement agreement.


It appears that after some initial investigation your former attorney decided, despite her earlier assessment, that your case has no merit and she opted not to further represent you. Yes, she can do this. If you still believe you have a case, hire a new attorney. You should review your contract with your first lawyer and bring it to any lawyer with whom you consult. Best wishes.



Sometimes we lawyers hear situations that sound like great cases and we say that we are willing to take the case on, because it looks like a clear violation of the employee's rights. And then, sometimes, the employer or manager provides us with new information or evidence that completely changes our understanding of what is happening... and makes us realize that the case is not winnable.

Anyone who practices in this area regularly has experienced it - from the employer giving over copies of flirtatious emails from the client to the alleged sexual harasser, to written statements from the "best friend" witness *against* our client, to revelations about the client's criminal history... some cases just fall apart.

Clark County, Nevada practitioner.