Skip to main content

What happens if your lawyer drops you from your contract. after you paid like twentythousand dollars?

Chico, CA |

I had a case that i retained my lawyer for but during that first case i got a second charge. ok so two cases which i paid another four thousand dollars for him to represent me. My lawyer works in a two lawyer office but they are not partners. After my prelim hearing my lawyer said that he was taking another job and couldnt be my lawyer anymore. Is that legal for him to do since both cases are not finished.he told me i had to find another lawyer

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


First, if I had a lawyer who did not want to represent me any more, I would want to find another lawyer because the first lawyer is not likely to have the motivation to represent me well. Lawyers need motivation too. Second, if the lawyer represents you in a case and you do not consent to his withdrawing, the lawyer must file a motion and get the Judge's permission to withdraw. Often Judges do not allow withdrawal without a good reason. I recommend you find another lawyer.


It would depend on the contract you signed. If he has not completed what was promised, and he refuses to refund amounts owed to you, I would call the state bar.

Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.


Since he has appeared in court for you, he can’t just quit. He must get consent of the court. Also, it sounds like he should be refunding you part of your retainer. If he won’t , contact the State Bar of California :

DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in California. (Bryant) Keith Martin


Most criminal defense attorneys have a two-stage contract in felony cases. The first stage covers services through the preliminary hearing; the second stage covers proceedings after the preliminary hearing, through the trial.

Generally, an attorney does not have to continue to represent the defendant after the preliminary hearing if the second-stage fees are not paid.

However, it does depend on the actual fee agreement you signed. Without reviewing the specifics, it's hard to tell whether the attorney has fulfilled the first stage of the contract.

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.