Los Angeles, CA asked in Workers' Compensation and Legal Malpractice for California

Q: How do I legally switch an attorney who is not responsive at all?

Hi. On 11/8/23 I signed an agreement with a law firm to handle my workers compensation case, stemming from a knee injury in which I need a total knee replacement. To date, I never to rarely hear from them. There's no follow up, no updates and also questions i've asked since November have yet to be answered. I've expressed my frustration in not hearing from them, feeling abandoned and the fact that when I do get someone on the phone, they don't know what I'm talking about or at that time are skimming through their emails to find the one in question. How do I legally switch attorney representation without this firm placing a monetary lien on my award?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, you have the right to change your legal representation at any time if you're unsatisfied with your current attorney's services. The first step is to communicate your decision to your current law firm in writing. It's advisable to express your concerns and your decision to terminate their services clearly. This letter should also request the return of any files or documents related to your case.

Before hiring a new attorney, you should discuss any concerns about potential liens on your award. Typically, attorneys can claim compensation for the work they've already done, but this must be reasonable and directly related to the services provided. A new attorney can negotiate these terms on your behalf to ensure that any transition is smooth and does not adversely affect your case. They can also review your original agreement with your current law firm to determine the best approach to minimize any financial implications of switching representation.

Lastly, it's important to select a new attorney who is responsive and communicates regularly about the progress of your case. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of their communication practices and agreement terms before signing any new contracts. This can help prevent similar issues from arising in the future and ensure that your case is handled efficiently and with the attention it deserves.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.