Can I Fire My Attorney if I Signed a Contract?

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Can I Fire My Attorney if I Signed a Contract?

Closeup of two men shaking hands over signed paperwork.

Your attorney should be your greatest ally during difficult times, but sometimes attorneys aren’t who you hoped they would be, and you may find yourself wondering if you can get out of a bad relationship or if it’s too late. Can I fire my attorney if I signed a contract?

If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re in the right place. While firing your attorney in Texas is as simple as saying “you’re fired,” the consequences of that action can be deceptively complex, and you should make sure you get professional guidance before making any big decisions, Ross Sears and the lawyers who sue lawyers at Sears Crawford are here to answer your questions about firing your lawyer in Texas.

Ross Sears II has been suing lawyers in Houston for over 30 years. If your attorney did something that would warrant a termination of contract, he would know. Call Ross at Sears Crawford today at (713) 223-3333 and ask him about firing or suing your lawyer.

Can I fire my attorney if I signed a contract in Texas?

Can I fire my lawyer in Texas? Yes. You can fire your attorney at any time and for any reason in Texas. But bear in mind, while Texas recognizes the client’s right to terminate the attorney-client relationship and decide who they want representing them in court, this does not mean that you may not still owe your attorney what was promised in their contract, or what they reasonably earned before you fired them.

If you fire your lawyer do you still have to pay them?

If your lawyer was working on a contingency fee basis, which means they would not be paid for their work on your case until the case concludes, you may owe that attorney money for their time (in part or full) even after you fire them.

But if you fire your attorney “for cause,” you may not owe them anything. Firing an attorney for cause essentially means that they did something to harm you or your case or otherwise caused you to lose faith in them.

When is it too late to fire your attorney?

When is it too late to fire your attorney? Technically it is never too late to fire your attorney, but if all the work has already been done, then there is an argument that they are entitled to some, if not all, of their contractually agreed upon fee. When and under what circumstances you should fire your attorney, are case and fact specific and cant be answered in a vacuum.

If you fire your attorney and believe they have harmed you or your case, then you may be able to sue your previous attorney for malpractice to get back what you deserve. If you decide that suing your attorney for malpractice is the right thing for you, make sure you do so while the iron is hot. The statute of limitations on attorney malpractice is generally two years from the date of discovery of malpractice, any later than that and you may have missed your shot.

What is it called when a lawyer doesn’t do their job?

When a lawyer doesn’t do their job and it causes their client harm it is often referred to as legal malpractice. Legal malpractice occurs when an attorney acts or fails to act in the way that a reasonable attorney would act under the same or similar circumstances, and that act or omission causes their client harm.

Legal malpractice can arise in several ways, but some of the most common are as follows:

  • Failing to know or apply the law
  • Failing to obtain consent for a settlement
  • Self-dealing or deception for unlawful gain
  • Missed deadlines or meetings
  • Overbilling or unconscionable fees
  • Breaches of confidentiality, conflict of interest, or misleading communication can all lead to breaches of their fiduciary duty in addition to malpractice

If your attorney committed legal malpractice and it cost you your case, you should not only fire them (if it’s not too late) but sue them as well. If you think your attorney is guilty of malpractice, contact a trusted legal malpractice attorney in Houston, like Ross Sears of Sears Crawford, and ask them if you have a case.

How do I fire my attorney?

Those wondering how to fire a lawyer in Texas should be sure about their decision before they make it and they should remember that not every annoying thing that your lawyer does constitutes malpractice, or warrants termination.

If they are bad at returning calls or seem to be too busy with other cases, it is often best to bring these concerns to their attention. Most attorneys are professionals who will adjust their behavior or improve their communication once they are aware that they are causing you distress. But if it doesn’t change anything, and you’d still like to fire your attorney, you’ll want to make sure you follow these four essential steps:

  1. Talk to your attorney first. You should always try to make things work with your previous attorney before deciding to retain a new one or before deciding to sue them.
  2. You should already have a new attorney in line to make sure that you are covered. Whether they are picking up the ball from your original case or suing your original lawyer for screwing it up.
  3. Notify your attorney and let them know that you are going in a different direction. You should write them a letter stating that you are firing them and why. List your reasoning and why you believe it to be for cause — and if you don’t believe it is for cause, you might want to reconsider firing them. You should also let them know your new attorney’s information so that they can remain in contact.
  4. Sue them for malpractice. If the attorney that you fired caused your case harm you should sue them for malpractice, it’s as simple as that.

You should only fire your attorney after careful consideration and consultation with a new attorney. Firing your attorney under the wrong circumstances can often leave you in a much worse position, and you still may owe them (part or all of) their fee.

Can I fire my attorney if I signed a contract? Yes, but you should consult with an attorney from Sears Crawford first.

The decision to fire your attorney should involve serious consideration and is usually only advisable under special circumstances. If your attorney committed legal malpractice, you will not only want to fire them, but you may want to sue them to recover damages if they irrevocably screwed up your case.

Ross Sears at Sears Crawford has been recovering damages for clients who have been victims of legal malpractice in Texas for years. If your attorney committed legal malpractice, Ross will be able to tell you.

Whether you need an attorney who knows how to prove attorney overbilling or a fraud lawyer to sue an attorney who helped themselves at your expense, Ross Sears is here to help. Call Ross today at (713) 223-3333 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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