When a Potential Client Wants to Fire Their Lawyer and Hire You

We unfortunately get this call all the time. The caller wants to fire their lawyer and hire us.

This can get messy. All lawyers do things differently. The file might be messy. The lawyer might not have done anything. This usually happens when a non-personal injury lawyer takes on a case they don’t know how to handle.

My general rule is that I don’t like to cook in a kitchen where someone else has already dirtied the dishes.

But it could also be that the caller is a difficult client. If they’ve already fired two or three lawyers, this is a huge red flag that they have unreasonable expectations.

My biggest concern in these cases is that the medical treatment hasn’t been handled properly. In other words, the lawyer has sent the client to some doctor buddy instead of the client getting the best care possible. When you mess up the medical treatment, this is a VERY difficult problem to fix.

It’s an odd discussion for us because we have to hold back a little. We don’t want to violate any ethical rules, so we can’t comment too much on the actual case. Our guidance has to be very general in nature.

We typically tell the potential client to try to work it out with their current lawyer. Call them. Email them. Try to meet in person. But sometimes the issues are irreconcilable.

So very rarely, we take on the client, but not until they’ve made the difficult decision to terminate their lawyer in writing. Then we fill up the sink and start cleaning dishes…

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