Under the law, a client always has the right to change counsel and bring a new attorney into a case. There may be financial obligations that remain between the client and original counsel, but it is always the client’s right to switch lawyers. I am often asked to replace prior counsel, and there are a variety of reasons for that. Sometimes a billing dispute has arisen, sometimes the client is disenchanted with the attorney’s performance or responsiveness. When I review a case that has been commenced by another attorney, in addition to evaluating the case, I have to determine whether I will be able to transition the file appropriately. I will reject a case if the posture in which it arrives at my desk does not enable me to employ the strategy that I think is best. I will tell the client that I wish I had been asked to take the case from its outset.
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