If you hired a lawyer but maybe didn't do your homework and check out their client reviews first, you could be stuck with a lemon. No one wants to deal with a bad lawyer, and while most are great and professional, there are some that aren't out there.
Along with a lawyer potentially just not being great at their job, the issue could instead be that maybe the two of you don't mesh well together. This happens too, and it's not necessarily anyone's fault, but it's still a problem.
With those things in mind, the following are six signs that you should consider firing your attorney.
1.) Lack of Communication
A lack of communication is the most common reason people fire their lawyers. Communication is extremely important in the relationship between an attorney and their client.
If you're the client and you have questions, of course, you want them answered. If deadlines or decisions are coming up and your attorney isn't keeping you in the loop, it can be incredibly frustrating.
Before you fire your attorney for not communicating well with you, you do need to make sure that your expectations aren't unreasonable. Attorneys are busy and are juggling a lot of clients, so they may respond to you, but perhaps just not as quickly as you'd like. You may find that if you fire your attorney for something like this, you'll face a similar problem with the next one.
2.) Unethical Behavior
Lawyers are required to act ethically at all times as part of the responsibilities and duties of their jobs. They're guided by strict codes of ethics, and they take an oath to behave ethically.
If you suspect your attorney isn't upholding their ethical duties, you can and should fire them.
For example, mishandling funds and conflicts of interest are both examples of unethical behaviors a lawyer might engage in. Not informing you of settlement offers or asking you to do something you're not comfortable with are red flags too.
3.) You're Intimidated
If you're just meeting an attorney for the first time, it's normal to feel a bit nervous. You're probably also only hiring an attorney because you're going through something serious and potentially negative in your life.
If you hire someone, however, and you remain intimidated to ask questions or get clarification, you may be better off working with someone else.
It's important that you feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with your attorney because that's how they're going to be best prepared to help you with your case. If you can't do that because you're intimidated, it may not even be the fault of the attorney but you'll still benefit from finding someone you feel better talking to.
4.) Unreasonable Billing
Hiring an attorney is expensive. There's not really any way around that. If you're hiring an attorney to represent you in a personal injury case, they usually work on a contingency which means they don't get paid until and if you recover damages. Other attorneys work on hourly billing rates in many cases, and these can add up quickly.
Before you hire an attorney, you'll sign a contract that should outline their fees. You should also be aware upfront of any additional expenses, and you should go ever every bill and make sure it's reasonable.
If you feel like it's not reasonable and you're being overcharged, try talking to your attorney first. If that doesn't go anywhere, you may need to find someone else.
5.) You Don't Agree with Your Attorney's Advice
The important thing to remember about hiring an attorney is that they are professionals, and they do know what they're doing in most cases. That means they may give you advice you don't necessarily like, but it's probably for the best.
There are situations where it can go beyond that and it may be problematic, though.
For example, if your attorney is pressuring you to accept a settlement and you don't want to, you may have a fundamental disagreement that prevents you from continuing to work together.
If your lawyer can't explain in a reasonable way why they want you to do something, it might be time to get rid of them.
6.) Your Attorney Seems Overwhelmed
Finally, your attorney should be experienced at handling all types of cases, and many of them should have similarities to your own. If your attorney seems overwhelmed or even confused, it's a red flag and you need to think about looking elsewhere.
Another useful tip: You can always read reviews on legal companies before hiring them. For example, before hiring Zen Business to do your incorporation paperwork, you can go to a neutral source like TRUiC and read some Zen Business Reviews first.