When is it too late to fire your attorney? To be honest, it is never too late to fire your attorney because you have a right to fire an attorney if you consider them not working in your favor. However, for the protection of your interest, if you found that it’s enough to go with your current attorney, then the question stands when is it too late to fire your attorney? This article will express different opinions about, when exactly one need to consider to fire an attorney? To make the right call requires careful thinking and a clear understanding of what your rights and responsibilities entail.

Importance of A Good Attorney-client Relationship

In the field of law, it is the lawyer and client relationship that forms the very basis for the success of the case. A sufficiently strong and friendly lawyer-client relationship is not only useful; it is crucial. This relationship consists on mutual trust, clear communication, equal participation in case, and emotional support from both parties, strives to achieve the best possible outcome. The role of this relationship should not be underestimated either since it has a direct effect on the attorney and the client communication and finally on the evaluation of the attorney’s performance and case completion.

Reasons Someone May Fire Their Attorney

when is it too late to fire your attorney

when is it too late to fire your attorney

The firing of an attorney is a heavy responsibility which could greatly influence the effectiveness of case. Clients may fire lawyers for a lot of reasons from the disagreement with the attorney’s results to their particular conflicts with the attorney. Below are some common reasons someone may fire their lawyer:

Clients expect cases updates regularly, explanation of legal concepts and timely response to their queries. If lawyer is mishandling of communication, ignoring telephone calls and emails, as well as not inform the client about current status in the case, it may give rise to irritation and lack of trust to the client. 

If the attorney lacking the understanding of the law, keep a frequent careless attitude, lack the necessary experience required in a certain legal field, then that cause a reason of hiring an attorney with relevant skills would indeed be sensible.

Ethical deviation should be considered a severe offense, e.g., frauds, conflicts of interest, and misappropriation of client accounts will be treated with the greatest severity. In case, the client found such suspicions that the lawyer is not acting within the ethical code, the client can fire the attorney.

Missing important deadlines, being un-prepared for court hearings, or making an evidentiary mistake would be a crucial flaw in the lawyer’s case, causing harm to the clients’ position. 

If there are huge differences between the client and the attorney as to how the case is to proceed and these disagreements cannot be subject to discussion, this time the client feel that their interests are not met. 

Conflicts related to legal costs and billing systems can pressurize the sensitiveness of the attorney-client relationship. If an attorney is charging more than was the original fee, or if there are other expenses sneaking up on client without a clear justification, clients can feel that they are being exploited financially. 

Various attorneys would do anything to get the case when they make untruthful promises, but do not able to give the possible outcomes of a case. 

Consequences of Firing Your Attorney

While making the decision to fire your attorney may be turn out with some consequences that impact your case. The decision to going for a new attorney and the required time by new attorney to review your case and making correct strategy for the courtroom will take time and slow down the proceedings.

Your attorney will be charged with pending payments, whose rates will be based on the agreement you have signed. Similarly, hiring a new lawyer comes with another fee as well as fees for the time it takes him to become aware with your case. 

Changing the attorney might result in a huge disruption and consistency of problems in your case strategy. Every lawyer might show some side of his approach or how he would have done your case. Changing to a completely different attorney can be the cause for a turning point in strategy and the plan, the plan may not display the same face as previously, undermining your position.

Steps To Take Before Firing Your Attorney

Steps To Take Before Firing Your Attorney

Steps To Take Before Firing Your Attorney

When you are firing your attorney, it is an important move, that you have to plan ahead carefully to articulate the issues that are causing the disruptions, before you let your attorney go. Here are the key steps to take before making this decision:

1. Assess the Situation

Before you fire your lawyer, take time to make sure the issues you had with them being your lawyer are big enough to warrant the firing, and not simply a bad moment or two. Find out the root cause of problems in details like communication breakdown, poor services, and unethical behavior. It is necessary to ask a question whether these problems could be sorted out during discussion or if they are of dynamite nature and call for a change.

2. Review Your Retainer Agreement

Consider, either your agreement or the terms and conditions associated with the attorney’s service when it comes to firing it. Pay attention to the clauses that deal with fees, refunds, and the cancellation procedure both from a provider’s and a client’s point of view. 

3. Document Your Concerns

Ensure that you have thoroughly documented details of all concerns relating to your lawyer. Indicate these by highlighting the situations where there was a lack of coordination, no timely submission, and insufficient representation. The court may take into consideration this document to choose a proper reason to fire an attorney and provide a foundation to resolve the disputes.

4. Communicate Your Concerns

Before making a final decision about the firing of your attorney, try to make a complaint about it to him. Schedule an appointment with him, or send a formal letter to him, citing your concerns and looking for resolution. In a few cases, a frank conversation can be the solution to correction of the problems making it undesirable or unnecessary to switch the attorneys.

5. Seek a Second Opinion

It is referred to another attorney so that you can hear different viewpoints on your case and the current lawyer’s way of handling the case. This may show you as to an outsider view and you could discover whether your problems are problematic or it is suitable to think of the end of the attorney and taking another attorney.

6. Find New Representation

Figure out the new lawyer first and then find and be sure to fire the current one. Don’t forget to make sure your new lawyer has the right experience level and is available on short notice. With new legal representation already in place, the chances of any interruption are brought down to the minimum, allowing the legal proceeding to flow uninterrupted and with no gaps.

7. Prepare for the Transition

Organize all the case files, documents, and letters which you might need when transferring to a new lawyer. Establish communication with the new lawyer by providing him with a brief on the status of the case, impending deadlines, and the key details that would lock him into an action.

8. Provide Written Notice

Create a formal written letter addressed to your current attorney which notifies him of your decision to terminate your existing representation. Be accurate and to-the-point. Insist that your attorney make sure that all files and documents pertaining to your case was transferred to you or the new attorney. Expound a time while this transition to prevent the delays.

9. Manage Financial Obligations

The first step would be to settle any charging fees or financial obligations with your attorney. Verify the final invoice that encompasses the services provided from the start up to the breaking of contract. Talk about the return of unused money, if any.

10. Notify the Court

If the circumstances of your case imply being filed to the court, then you need to seek a motion for a change of attorney. Cooperate with your new lawyer to make sure that all procedural directives are achieved and to inform the court on the change of representation. One cannot overlook this phase of the switch-over to a new legal representative. This is to prevent any negative impact occurring as a result of the replacement.

Steps To Take Before Firing Your Attorney
1. Assess the Situation
2. Review Your Retainer Agreement
3. Document Your Concerns
4. Communicate Your Concerns
5. Seek a Second Opinion
6. Find New Representation
7. Prepare for the Transition
8. Provide Written Notice
9. Manage Financial Obligations
10. Notify the Court

Common Misconceptions About Firing An Attorney

Common Misconceptions About Firing Your Attorney

Common Misconceptions About Firing Your Attorney

Making a decision to fire your attorney may often cause hesitation and uncertainty. This could lead clients to being irrational and therefore, they neglected justification and hence they can make poor decision. Here, are some of the most common misconceptions about firing your attorney:

1. You Can’t Fire Your Attorney at Any Time

Reality: The clients have the right of refusing to work with their attorney in any time. If you are not satisfied with the attorney’s performance, his communication, or any other aspect of the service. You have the right to put an end to the relationship. Although, you should consider the time and the possible consequences that might lead to affect your case.

2. Firing Your Attorney Will Severely Delay Your Case

Reality: While the switching lawyers’ task does harvest delays that are sometimes unavoidable, it is important to handle the process carefully for this reason. Find a new attorney and provide all case relevant details before firing the current one, as quickly as possible, will minimize disruptions. 

3. It Is Too Expensive to Fire and Hire a New Attorney

Reality: Although the amount of fee paid to current attorney and hiring the new attorney, cause some increase in your financial expenses but the whole picture completely depends on the justice you seek.

4. You Must Have a Drastic Reason to Fire Your Attorney

Reality: Everything which is authentic and which meet to the interests of the clients, is undoubtedly correct, such as poor communication, insufficient or different working styles. At the end of the day what you really want is to be convinced and to know that you have the best person to represent you.

5. The New Attorney Will Automatically Understand Your Case

Reality: At the same time, a new attorney may have fresh new ideas, but they may need time to compile all necessary files and build their own vision of the entire case. The efficient interaction and coordination between attorney and client at this time are pivotal in the ongoing process.

How to pick the right replacement attorney?

Going for a replacement attorney option is one of the vital instances as it allows to ensure that given legal cases will be appropriately managed and result oriented. Here are key steps to help you select the best attorney for your needs:

  • Your search will be a lot clearer, if you define what you need from a new lawyer beforehand. Consider the area of expertise, experience level and case complexity.
  • Conduct comprehensive research in making a list of potential attorneys. Use referrals, online reviews, go through bar associations.
  • Make sure that the ones you intend to engage are licensed attorneys that practice in your state and have good standing with the bar. Verify their education, licensing and disciplinary history.
  • Meet and consult with the possible attorney to find the one who is best that can represent your case. During the consultation, consider the communication skills, responsiveness, approachability and case assessment.
  • Legal fees can vary widely, so it’s important to understand the cost structure whether it is billing method, contingency or may also need additional cost during proceedings.


Regarding the choice of firing an attorney, in the fields of legal representation, it should never be made without thinking carefully. Whether, this is a problem of communication, or in forming trust, or not treating case properly, it’s best to deal with it. By way of knowing your rights, reviewing your agreement and communicating clearly with your old and new attorney, it is your decision to make it carefully. Eventually, putting your legal interests above everything is important to get new attorney, and if necessary, this might require to fire your current attorney.


Can I talk to another lawyer if I already have one?

Yes, you can do conversation with another lawyer, while having one. It is under your choice to take others’ opinions and leave the current if something is not going well.

When Is It too late to fire your attorney?

It’s not, if you want to go ahead and fire that lawyer if you have not been satisfied with his services. However, before you take such action, consider the consequences that may come your way and take advice from an attorney.

When should I think about changing attorneys?

You should consider switching attorneys if you have problems like poor communication, trust, ethical problems, or a breakdown of confidence. 

How do you fire your lawyer?

To fire your attorney, you shall send a letter of firing, tell the reason in detail, ask to collect your files.

Can I fire my attorney in the middle of a trial?

Yes, you’re allowed to fire an attorney in the middle of the trial, however, that should be considered in terms of timing and the consequences on your case.

Will firing my attorney cost me more money?

In addition to expenses that arise from firing your lawyer, like the amount of fee already paid and the upcoming new hiring fee.

How do I find a new attorney after firing the old one?

To replace the previous attorney, do some research on reputable law firms or attorneys in your area, ask for referrals from people, schedule meetings to talk, and compare them and their decision-making ability before making a decision.

I am Sher A, the person behind this idea. With education in Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from the University of Karachi, Pakistan,, like 5 years of experience as a lawyer.

Leave a Comment