Substituting your Attorney
If you have a legal issue and have hired an attorney to represent you, it is critical that you can trust your lawyer’s judgment, experience, and drive to help you. If you are dissatisfied with the legal representation you have received, or if you have reason to distrust your lawyer’s intentions with your case, you are legally allowed to substitute your lawyer.
Many people who have experienced frustration with their chosen attorney do not realize that they are not “stuck” with the person they initially hired. You can substitute your lawyer with someone you trust has your best interest in mind and has the right experience to see your case through to a successful conclusion. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we firmly believe that injured individuals deserve the highest-quality representation, and serious injury claims require an attorney with specific experience and qualifications.
We have provided the following frequently asked questions and their answers below to help you learn more about your rights and the process of replacing your legal counsel if you are dissatisfied with your current representation. If the answer to your question is not on this page or if you are considering substituting your current attorney, contact the legal team of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 today.
When Should I Substitute My Attorney?
Your lawyer is the most important component of your lawsuit. Lawyers serve as your mouthpiece and directly affect the outcome of your case. There are a number of reasons why you may no longer be happy with your lawyer. You may no longer see eye to eye with your lawyer, which runs a huge risk of not getting the results that you want. Maybe you are frustrated that your lawyer is not properly communicating with you – they may not return your emails or phone calls or generally leave you “in the dark” about your case. You might find as the lawsuit progresses that you need an attorney with more experience or different skills, such as an attorney with trial experience as you realize that a settlement may not be possible for your case. Whatever your reason for having buyers’ remorse may be, you almost always can substitute your lawyer.
How Do I Substitute My Attorney?
Once you decide you want to substitute your attorney, do not fire your current one before hiring their replacement. Firing your attorney prematurely runs the risk of missing important deadlines which can be fatal to your case. Beyond the impact it has on your case, once you retain new counsel you will not have to deal with any of the logistics involved with the transition as your new attorney will handle everything for you.
How Much Will Substituting My Attorney Cost?
Nothing. Personal injury attorneys are generally paid on a contingency fee basis. Paperwork to change attorneys can be signed with your new attorney who will deal with the logistics with the transfer of your case file. In New York State, attorneys are paid a contingency fee of one-third. Whether you have one or multiple attorneys who have represented you, the legal fee remains the same. If an attorney did work they deserve to be paid for, they will receive a portion of the contingent fee.
Will Switching Attorneys Hurt Or Delay My Case?
No. What can hurt your case is if the attorney representing you is unqualified to handle your case properly. The sooner you change attorneys, the more likely it is that any problems or deficiencies in the legal work that has been done can be fixed. If you switch to a well-qualified attorney, it is likely your case will move forward in a more efficient manner. Your former attorney is required to forward their legal files regarding your case in a timely manner. Substituting attorneys is a common practice. If your first attorney becomes difficult, judicial intervention can easily solve this problem. If you feel like your current attorney is underrepresenting you, failing to switch attorneys can be extremely harmful to your case.
The Outcome of Changing Attorneys
The law firm of Hach & Rose, LLP recently took over a case where the client was being encouraged by his former attorneys to accept a $60,000 settlement offer. He was concerned that his injuries were not healing and he required significant medical treatment. After changing attorneys and going through the litigation process, his case settled for $2,000,000. Not only can changing attorneys ensure your case is handled properly, but if you are represented by attorneys that have a good reputation within a particular field it is much more likely that insurance companies and people defending the lawsuits will recognize that your case will only resolve for the amount that you deserve.
You and Your Family Come First
While firing someone is not an experience most of us enjoy going through, it can have a tremendous impact on the success of your case. Remember, it is you and your loved ones who will live with the outcome every day for the rest of your lives, so do what is best to protect your future. While your attorney has significant control over the outcome of your lawsuit, you have complete control over who you select to represent you and your family.