Can I Fire My Lawyer in Massachusetts?


It is clear from your attention to this subject that you are experiencing some frustration with your current legal representation.  Whatever the core reasons for this frustration are, you may have come to the point where you are seriously considering parting ways with your counsel.  When you first contemplate making this serious decision, it may feel daunting.  The further along the progression of your case is, the more this feeling may escalate.   We hope that the information on this page will assist you in making that move confidently if it is indeed the right one.

Regardless of the nature of your case, there are fundamental elements that need to be in place to have the best chance at success with your case – and having a lawyer you can work with is critical.  A lawyer you trust.

What Steps Should You Consider?

The First Fundamental, and often most neglected of these is… COMMUNICATION!  Start by asking yourself:  Am I able to communicate well with my lawyer?  Do we have effective two-way communication, whether that be over the phone, via e-mail, text, zoom or other relevant means?  Do I get responses in a reasonable time frame?  Do I understand the responses?  We generally recommend that you first really try hard to communicate with your lawyer.  Understand that he or she may be busy with another matter and may need some time to respond.  Steps two and three would be to try again.   Allow your attorney to respond and correct the matter once you have established what is lacking.  Communicate your concerns and schedule an appointment in their office or via zoom.  If that doesn’t work after reasonable efforts, perhaps it is time to fire, or disengage your lawyer.

The Second Fundamental is understanding the STRATEGY, or plan, that your lawyer will undertake to get resolution of your case.  Ask yourself:  Are we on the same page?  Do I understand what needs to happen, why it needs to happen, who needs to be involved and when it needs to happen?  Do I understand what are the next steps my lawyer plans, depending on the case?   Are my expectations and the lawyer’s expectations the same?

If you can’t answer all those questions affirmatively, what should you do?

What To Do After Consideration?

We frequently get calls from folks that have hired a lawyer that they find is too busy, or too distracted to effectively manage their case.

Although, frequently, failure to properly communicate or failure to explain the strategy is the culprit, there is always a possibility there is some deception involved (lying about the status of your case, for example) or negligence (a statute of limitations blown, as another example).

In that instance, you should fire your lawyer and retain new counsel that concentrates in the same field of law. You need to always have a mutual high level of trust.  The lawyer must be able to trust that what you provide is above board and you must have the knowledge that your lawyer is working hard for your benefit.  This is especially so when the critical moments in your case arrive:  these include discussion of settlement, answering interrogatories, retaining an expert and extensive preparation for your deposition, mediation, or trial, to name a few.  Reaching those milestones without trust and confidence in place increases the likelihood of a negative result you were not expecting or were prepared for.

Please examine the following videos that will answer questions related to your specific type of case and steer you in the right direction – toward caring, aggressive, and effective representation.

Call Burns & Jain 617-227-7423 for a free evaluation of your personal injury case, or legal malpractice case.

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