Updated on September 13, 2021
Switching attorneys in the middle of a litigation may seem like a daunting task, especially since your current attorney knows your entire case and is familiar with the case file. However, continuing with your current attorney may not be in the best interest of your case. While it may seem more convenient and less costly to stay with your current attorney, it may hurt you more than benefit you in the future.
For example, your attorney may know your case facts and have personal knowledge of the case documents; however, he may not have the best strategy to resolve your case or the best know-how to deal with the case documents. In this instance, it may be better to switch attorneys and spend a little more money for your new attorney to learn your case file and get a better case result than stay with your current attorney and possibly get a worse case result.
One of the first steps to switching your attorney is to obtain a copy of your case file. If your attorney did not provide you with your case documents, i.e. pleadings, motions, discovery, then it will be a good idea to ask your attorney for a copy for your records. You can then bring those documents to new attorneys with whom you are consulting. Just a cursory review of those case documents will help your new attorney understand your case better and have a better idea of how to move forward with your case. Even if you are having a billing dispute with your old attorney, they must still provide you with a complete file — you own the file not the attorney.
Another step in switching attorneys is finding a good replacement attorney. This will take some researching on your part to find an attorney who specializes in the practice area of your matter. While general practitioners have knowledge of a wide array of practice areas, they may not have the specialized knowledge necessary to best represent you in your case. Therefore, it is important to not just settle for the first attorney you find. You should be more selective and find an attorney who focuses his practice on the subject matter pertaining to your case. At Schorr Law, for example, our real estate attorneys do one thing –real estate. This separates us from the field of general practitioners and attorneys who just dabble in real estate. We do it full time.
Lastly, when you consult with your potential replacement attorney, make sure you are well prepared and bring all relevant case documents for your new attorney to review. In order for your new attorney to accurately assess your case, he will need access to as much of your case file as possible. If you provide him only with a limited portion of your case documents, then your new attorney may form an inaccurate assessment of your case. However, if you are unable to obtain a copy of your case file from your current attorney, then you should at least procure the case number for your case. That will at least give your potential new attorney a general overview of what has happened in your case up to that point, including upcoming hearing/trial dates.
Performing these steps prior to retaining a replacement attorney will increase your chances of finding a better attorney who will better represent you in your case. We often suggest to potential clients that they give us a test drive by letting us review the file and come up with strategy for moving forward before the client commits to the full switch.
Thinking of switching attorneys? Don’t wait! Contact Schorr Law today and schedule a free consultation. Our real estate lawyers in Los Angeles have taken many cases in the middle of discovery, weeks before an important hearing, or mid-litigation.