There are lots of things that could cause you to want to change lawyers. Maybe you and your attorney don’t really get along. Maybe you feel like your attorney is over promising, and failing to bring about the results you expected. You are allowed to change lawyers; however, you shouldn’t do so without careful thought.
At Oxner + Permar, our policy states that if there is a disagreement as to how your case is being handled you should insist on a face-to-face meeting with your lawyer to try to clear the air.
Your relationship with your attorney is just like any other kind of relationship: communication is necessary in order for it to be successful. Expressing your dissatisfaction in a civil, direct way will give your attorney a chance to perform better. For example, some attorneys are incredible in the courtroom, but can lack people skills when it comes to dealing with clients. Constructive feedback can be a helpful reminder.
If your attorney simply won’t work with you, then you may need to seriously consider switching attorneys. You only have one shot at your workers’ compensation case: no mulligans, no do-overs. If you truly believe it’s worth it, then you should definitely switch attorneys.
If you do decide to change attorneys there are a few things to keep in mind:
- You will only pay one attorney’s fee. Your attorney’s fee will be split between the two attorneys you worked with. Both deserve compensation for working on your case whether or not you feel they deserve it.
- The attorney you’re leaving must give you your file. If your attorney wants to, he or she is allowed to keep a copy of your file; however, you cannot be charged for this copy.
- Your former attorney must file a Motion to Withdraw with the Industrial Commission. Technically, the Industrial Commission must approve this motion and no new attorney will be able to get anything done until the motion is approved.
Ultimately it’s your case, so you must do what you believe is in your best interest. Don’t risk your benefits and your future. Hire an attorney with experience, someone you can trust.