Legal Question in Family Law in California

substitution of attorney

My attorney no longer wants to represent me and has requested that I sign a substitution of attorney form. It states that I will be representing myself. Several attorneys have told me not to sign anything releasing the present attorney until I have someone else and am ready to sign. One attorney is considering representing me but wants to see the file first. The present attorney will not release the file until I sign the substitution , saying that this is standard procedure and if I do not sign he will go to court to be released from the case and I will have to pay all of the fees. Is this standard procedure?

Asked on 10/14/02, 7:12 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Chris Johnson Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law

Re: substitution of attorney

He can be relieved as your attorney if there is a fundamental breakdown in your relationship, usually when you and he cannot agree on a course of action.

Him keeping the file until you sign the substitution is understandable, as he would need it to continue representing you. However, you're entitled to a copy of the documents in the file in the meantime, which you could use to consult with another attorney.

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Answered on 10/15/02, 12:04 am

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