As a client, interviewing potential attorneys is very important. You want to find someone who understands their area of practice and who you feel you can work with. A healthy attorney-client relationship requires open communication and trust. If you feel like you cannot trust your attorney, or your attorney cannot trust you, then the relationship will fail.

Parting Ways

So what happens if you hire an attorney and you no longer want to continue that relationship? First things first: attorneys understand that sometimes the attorney-client relationship is not a good fit. If the relationship is not working, the attorney will not take it personally.

Your file that your attorney started is your property. The documents the attorney drafted, the letters the attorney sent, the letters the attorney received, are all yours. When you decide to terminate an attorney-client relationship, you should request your file.

How to Break the News

You can either tell your attorney that you will no longer be working with him or her, or you can ask your new attorney to break the news. Your new attorney will notify your old attorney that they are no longer representing you, and your old attorney will send the court and opposing counsel his or her notice of withdrawal. Your new attorney will send the court and opposing counsel a certificate of representation.

Your new attorney will be able to pick up right where your old attorney left off.

One caveat when you decide to pursue a new attorney-client relationship: oftentimes clients will not be satisfied with their attorney because their attorney is not telling them exactly what they want to hear. Be very aware that your attorney advises you based on the law and their experience; maybe your expectations in the matter are unattainable.