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If I already have a lawyer, but I'm not happy with what they're doing, can I switch to another lawyer?


A: Yes. But first, you need to explore exactly why you're unhappy with your current attorney. Did you have unrealistic expectations? Were you promised more than what is being delivered? Are you being unreasonable in what you expect will happen in your case? If after looking at all the reasons why there is a pending problem with you and your current attorney, keep in mind that when you go to another lawyer to continue your case, your original lawyer will be entitled to receive his expenses (also known as disbursements) immediately from your new attorney. This is not his fee. In fact, your current attorney may have already had settlement negotiations and received an offer. If you have rejected a settlement offer, and then go to another attorney, your first attorney will then be able to claim a lien against the amount that was originally offered to you in settlement. That means that he'll usually be entitled to a percentage of the amount that you turned down- especially if you obtain more money from a second attorney. When you switch to a new lawyer, the defense lawyers always look askance at the merits of the case if the first lawyer has withdrawn from the case, or the client has discharged his first attorney and gone elsewhere to continue his case. So, although you may have good reason to go elsewhere, give strong thought to the risks and benefits associated with going to a second or even third attorney.