Withdraw of counsel
I am in the middle of a custody case approx. 1yr 1/2 with an x. My lawyer just sent me a letter of withdraw of counsel. I WAS SHOCKED !!!! I thought for the last two years we have had a great relationship. I finally rec'd a phone call from her, (after emails and messages to her) stated on my voice mail that she was appauled at the fact I put her on the spot when I put her on speaker phone so my parents can hear her anwers to my questions. I asked her twice if it was ok to put her on speaker phone as I have numerous times in the past. I have not signed any agreement for her to be dismissed. I just want to know why a firm is allowed to drop a client just because that got affended, I did not nor did my parents want to affend any one exspecailly my lawyer. Is this something that is excepted, just withdraw with no warning or ligit excuse. Oh by the way she is paid in full and up to date with all court hearing and etc...I just think it is not a good practice for any lawyer to take advantage of a single mother just trying to get her daughter back into my life. Please advise.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Withdraw of counsel
If you do not sign a consent to withdrawal, there will be a hearing in court. You can bring up your concerns then. It's possible that the attorney has her own personal reasons for wanting to withdraw. And, it is possible that if the only reason stated by her is that incident, the court may agree with you. However, the expectation of attorney-client priviledges in order to best represent you is a legitimate issue. But, most importantly, if there is no "prejudice" to you (i.e. you can hire someone else in your community; it is not the eve of a trial requiring long preparation, etc.), the motion to withdraw will probably be granted.
Re: Withdraw of counsel
NOTE: This communication is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, it is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles. You should not rely on or take action based on this communication without first presenting ALL relevant details to a competent attorney in your jurisdiction and then receiving the attorney's individualized advice for you. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you agree that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then stop right here, and do not read any further.
It would be my guess that although the attorney gave this as her reason, there are probably more reasons as to why she has chosen to withdraw. If you do not agree to her withdrawl, a hearing will have to be held at which time other reasons will probably also be given and the court will decide if the request is reasonable. Unless a trial is imminent, the chances are good that any motion to withdraw will be granted.
If there has been a problem between an attorney and a client, it is usually best for both parties to have a parting of their ways. You should seek alternative counsel that you can feel comfortable with.
Scott R. Jay, Esq.