It is not uncommon for people to hire an attorney to represent them and then they change their mind and want a new attorney to represent them. This can happen for any number of reasons and the Florida Supreme Court recognizes that. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a client has the absolute right to terminate their contract with one attorney and hire another attorney.
Whether the client would owe the first attorney money for their fees and costs is something we would have to cover in another video, but I will say if the client makes the decision to change attorney’s before the lawsuit is filed then the client would just let the old attorney know their services will no longer be needed and will sign the necessary paperwork with the new attorney. Terminating an attorney’s services does get complicated if the lawsuit has already been filed and the other party has filed an answer to the lawsuit.
If a lawsuit is pending and a client wants to change attorneys then they have to file a motion to substitute counsel. If the old attorney and the new attorney agree that the client needs a new attorney then both of the attorneys can file this motion together. If the old and new attorneys don’t agree on the client hiring a new attorney then the new attorney will file the motion to substitute counsel. Then both attorneys and the client will appear in front of the judge and the judge will hear arguments from both sides stating why they should represent the client. Judges will typically try to leave it up to the client to decide but occasionally if the judge finds an issue with the new attorney, such as incompetence, then the judge might not allow a substitution of counsel.
If you have any questions about your current counsel or your personal injury case, please reach out to us. You can call us at 407-254-4901 or text us at 407-644-4444. We are always happy to offer a no obligation, free consultation to discuss your case with you.