If you think hiring a lawyer to fight for you is the end of your worries, think again. It is highly possible that you and your lawyer end up having parallel or diverse points of view. In such cases, however hard you try to even out the differences your case is bound to have a serious set back. The best option in such a scenario is to muster enough courage to get rid of the attorney, and start looking at fresh options.
The first point to remember is that as a recipient of legal advice, when you hire a lawyer, you have your rights to professionalism and commitment from the lawyer. Like every state, your state also has stipulated several consumer rights as well as lawyers’ duties and obligations. You can check and get confirmation about such issues either by getting in touch with the Bar Association or through the internet.
You do not go anywhere by being shy, reticent or passive. Remember you have the following rights: set deadlines; receive copies of all relevant documents; ask for detailed and itemized billing; seek second opinion if needed. Frank and open communication has always proved to be the best approach in the event of a conflict or mismatch of opinions. Bickering or feeling sorry in the absence of the lawyer would hardly take you any further. Most of the time, candid and unbiased exchange of views help in sorting out differences. Despite your best efforts for a peaceful reconciliation, if the talks fail, then there is no other alternative but to part ways in an amicable manner.
If you want to sack a lawyer, here are some points to remember:
While you follow the contract between yourself and the lawyer to be maximum extent possible, it is also a good idea to include a disagreement clause that clearly identifies your financial liability, if any.
Keep track of all papers related to the case and keep on making notes on points you do not agree or feel is not right.
Communicate your reasons for firing the lawyer in writing. Request him to return all documents related to the case as well as provide you with a detailed bill of expenses incurred by him. He also has to return any excess amount that you might have paid him, in addition to his retainer fees. In case you owe any money to the lawyer, he has every right to withhold your documents until you clear all his dues.
A more intelligent thing to do is to find a replacement before you fire the current lawyer. Also, ensure that you are not causing any unnecessary delay in legal proceedings by firing the lawyer in the middle of a hearing session. In any case, avoid verbal firing. It is prudent to put your views and reasons for firing him in writing, specifying the payments made and highlighting the terms and conditions of the original contract. Of course, you have to make sure that he receives your written communication.
If you find yourself in trouble over this issue, contact the courts or request another reputed lawyer to issue a legal notice. Many states allow consumers to lodge complaints against lawyers. You could get more information about this from the local Bar Association of your state. Law clearly states that every lawyer must abide by a pre-set code of conduct and behave in a professional manner.