Can I Change Attorneys Once My Maryland Case Has Begun?

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Hiring an attorney to take on your personal injury case after you or a loved one has been injured is a big decision. When you are looking for a lawyer to represent you during the aftermath of an accident you want to find someone who is competent, experienced, and knowledgeable to represent you in Maryland. Because so much is at stake, you expect your attorney to work hard on your case and do their best to help you recover compensation for your injuries. However, sometimes you find that your attorney is not putting forth their best efforts, or in fact, any effort at all. When that happens, it may be time to find a new lawyer.

There can be any number of reasons that you may want to seek out new representation in the middle of your case. Some reasons clients become dissatisfied with their attorneys can include:

  • Lack Of Communication: Communication in any relationship is key, but especially in the attorney-client context. One of the duties an attorney has is to keep his or her client informed of what is going on in their case. For example, it there was a hearing held over a discovery matter, your attorney should call you to let you know the outcome of that hearing. Likewise, if you call with a question, your point of contact within the firm should make an effort to return your call within a reasonable amount of time. If a member of your attorney’s staff is not returning your calls or is not making any attempt to communicate with you about the status of your case, then you may decide to find legal help elsewhere.

    • Note: If you are calling the attorney’s office a couple of times a week with questions, they may ask you to consolidate all your questions into a once a week or once a month phone call. The legal system can move very slowly so the progress report on your case may be the same for several months.
  • Disorganization: Attorneys are required to do proficient work within a timely manner. If an attorney is missing deadlines, is unprepared for court, or is simply not putting any effort into your case, then that attorney is not representing you to the best of their ability and it may be time to find someone who can.
  • Ignoring Your Wishes: An attorney may be able to advise you what they believe the best course of action to take in your case is, but they are not allowed to make this decision for you. Major decisions in your case should be up to you. For example, if you are unhappy with the settlement offer from the other side and you feel that your attorney is pressuring you to take the offer, but you don’t want to, you don’t have to. An attorney is required to follow the client’s instructions, as long as the client is not instructing the attorney to do anything illegal or unethical.

Before changing your attorney mid-case, you may want to first attempt to resolve the issues you are having. If a lack of communication is the problem, discuss ways to improve upon this. If your attempt to resolve the issue fails and the problem persists, then it may be reasonable to find another lawyer to take your case.

Steps To Take to Change Attorneys

When firing your attorney, be sure to read over the contract for services to see if there is anything in it about how to end the attorney-client relationship. Before firing your old attorney, you will likely want to retain a new one. This will help prevent delaying your case. However, a new attorney will need time to get up to speed on the facts and legal issues in your case, so some delay should be expected. After you have found and retained a new attorney, you can send a certified or registered letter to notify your old attorney you are ending the relationship. Finally, you will want to inform the court, if your case is pending, that you are changing lawyers.

Reasonable Fees

When changing attorneys it is important to be aware that your old attorney may be entitled to reasonable compensation for the services they provided. In contingency fee cases, the attorneys may share the fee from any recovery you may obtain.

 Experienced Maryland Trial Attorneys

If you believe that your attorney isn’t putting forth the best effort on your behalf, please don’t hesitate to call our firm. The attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian have extensive experience handling medical malpractice and personal injury claims in Maryland. We have secured some of the largest verdicts in the state for our clients, and will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.

    Contact Us Now

    Call 800-529-6162 or complete the form. Phones answered 24/7. Most form responses within 5 minutes during business hours, and 2 hours during evenings and weekends.

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