Though most people take time to shop around for the right lawyer before beginning a case, it doesn’t always work out as expected. Clients may find the attorney just isn’t a good fit for them or be worried about missing something important because of how the attorney works. If there is any question as to whether the lawyer is the right fit, the client does have the option of hiring a new lawyer. There is a process to go through to do this.
Find a Lawyer
The first step to take is to find a new lawyer. This can involve a little bit of research and taking the time to think about what is needed in a new lawyer. It’s important to avoid one who will make mistakes similar to the previous lawyer, and look for one who will be a better fit. Take the time to read more about each of the lawyers that are potential options before making any decisions or calling for a consultation.
Request a New Consultation
Once the number of options has been narrowed down, it’s time to request a new consultation. In many cases, the consultation is free or inexpensive. It is a good idea to ask about how the case will be handled, the legal fees that need to be paid, the way the lawyer will handle the case, and the expected outcome of the case. While a lawyer can’t make promises for the outcome, they should have a good idea of how it can progress.
Write Letter to Previous Lawyer
When a new lawyer is hired, take the time to write a letter to the previous lawyer. This is an official declaration that they are being fired and replaced with a different lawyer. It is important to make sure this is in writing just in case there are any issues moving forward. Do not forget to add the date to the document in case there are any questions about the amount of money paid to the previous lawyer before they were fired.
Retrieve Case Files
Take the time to retrieve any case files from the prior lawyer. Depending on the type of case, there may be a lot of documents or other types of evidence that will need to be moved from the prior lawyer to the new one. It is important to make sure any evidence is transferred properly to avoid chain of custody issues and to prevent anything from being lost during the transition. The prior lawyer and new lawyer should be able to help with the transition.
Start Working with New Lawyer
Finally, it’s time to start working with the new lawyer. Since they’re jumping in during the middle of a case, they may need to request extensions from the court to get caught up with everything. Be as helpful as possible during this period, as they are starting with little to no prior knowledge of the case and will need to catch up to where the case is right now.
Changing to a new lawyer is possible, and it can help the client make sure they’re working with a lawyer who is a better fit for them. Be sure to follow all of the steps here when looking for a new lawyer to handle a case.