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.
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.
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.
Thinking of switching attorneys? Don’t wait! Contact Schorr Law today and schedule a consultation. Our attorneys have taken many cases in the middle of discovery, weeks before an important hearing, or mid-litigation.
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By: Carina Woo, esq.