Finding the right attorney for a legal matter is a big decision — and it’s not always a decision that everyone gets right the first time. Many people hire or retain an attorney only to later determine that they aren’t the right fit.
Thankfully, you are not stuck with the first attorney you choose. You can change attorneys in the middle of a case if you find they are not delivering the service, expertise, or working relationship you expected.
Here are six signs you need a new attorney and it isn’t working out with your current representation.
You Might Need a New Attorney If…
Your lawyer won’t explain the details and strategy of your case.
Part of your attorney’s job is to help you understand your case. They are the expert and should explain each step of the process and possible outcome with you. They should also explain the strategy they’re taking with your case and why they think it’s a good idea. If you feel lost or confused about your case and your attorney won’t explain it to you, it may be time to move on.
You don’t agree with your lawyer’s strategy, and they won’t follow your directions.
Your attorney works for you. You have the final say in the strategy and approach to your case. It is your attorney’s job to explain what they think is the best approach, while letting you make the final decisions. If your lawyer won’t follow your directions or continues to present strategies you disagree with, it might be a sign you need a new attorney.
Your lawyer won’t respond to you, or your case has stalled.
Attorneys have an obligation to keep your case moving. If your case has stalled and there is no forward progress, it is a sign of an attorney who is not adequately doing their job. Likewise, if your lawyer is not responding to your messages or calls, you may need to seek a change in representation.
Your lawyer doesn’t have the resources needed to manage your case.
In some situations, your case may become more demanding and complicated as the details unfold. For example, if your case gains press attention or starts to include more defendants or plaintiffs, the resources needed to litigate your case may increase. If your existing attorney doesn’t have the resources to adequately manage your case, you may need to find a law practice that can.
Your attorney has made multiple errors.
It is a clear sign you need a new attorney if they have made multiple errors. While people make mistakes and you may be able to move past an error or two, your attorney should not be making multiple errors. Seek new representation if your attorney or their office continues to miss filing dates, filing the wrong documents, or otherwise make careless errors.
You don’t trust your attorney.
One of the top signs you need a new attorney is if you don’t trust them. Trust is an essential element in a strong working relationship with an attorney. You both need to be able to be completely candid and truthful with each other. If you find yourself withholding information from your attorney or feel they aren’t being completely honest with you, it’s time to look for another option.
How to Get a New Attorney if You’re In the Middle of a Case
If you’ve seen too many signs you need a new attorney and are ready to make the switch, take the following steps.
#1) Review your contract with your current attorney. When you entered into a working relationship with your existing attorney, you likely signed a contract outlining the arrangement. Refer back to the contract to see if it includes any specific language about what to do to end the relationship.
#2) Talk to your current attorney. While you may have seen too many signs that you need a new attorney, it is always worth bringing your concerns to your lawyer to see if you can work it out. Write down your concerns and discuss them with your attorney. You may be surprised to find that you can work things out when issues are directly addressed.
#3) Talk to new potential attorneys. Most law offices offer a free consultation with a lawyer. Take offices up on this offer and interview a few different attorneys to find the right representation. Consider the issues you had with your previous attorney, and ask questions to ensure that this attorney will handle things differently.
#4) Let your new attorney manage the change. Once you retain a new attorney, they will take the lead on your change of representation. They will file the appropriate documents to let the court and other parties know you have a new attorney.
Have You Seen Signs You Need a New Attorney?
If you have a feeling things aren’t working out with your current attorney, you might be right. If you see signs you need a new attorney, follow them.
As you explore your options, TJ Grimaldi is here to help. Schedule a free consultation with TJ to see if he is the right representation for you. All consultations with TJ are 100% free. Schedule or call 813-226-1023 today.