Ms. Conan's response is incorrect. In California, the Substitution of Attorney form is the proper form for a party to replace his or her attorney in pro per in civil cases. There is no need for a motion (or court approval) once the client has terminated the services of the attorney, and the attorney has no discretion to refuse to sign the form. Criminal cases may require court approval.
How long has it been since you sent the letter and the substitution form to the attorney? You should give the attorney a reasonable time to return the form (perhaps up to ten days?). Have you tried to call the attorney to inquire about the form?
Ultimately, if the attorney refuses you should contact the State Bar (www.calbar.org).
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I believe that the form you used is for substituting attorneys, not for forcing an attorney to withdraw. In other words, I believe you have to first hire another attorney and have the new attorney information filled in on the form before you can request your former attorney to substitute. What your current attorney needs to do (since you have terminated him or her) is to file a motion to withdraw, stating that you have decided to proceed pro se, which means you have chosen to represent yourself.
Law Office of Elizabeth S. Conan, P.A. www.FloridaBarHearings.com Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. I am licensed to practice law only in Florida.