CAN I CHANGE ATTORNEYS FOR MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
April 20, 2014
Yes. In Ohio, clients are free to terminate their attorney at any time, with or without cause. However, I generally advise potential clients to schedule an in person meeting with their current attorney to see if they can resolve their issues.
If the client is still unhappy following the meeting, they can simply provide the attorney with written notice that they are being removed from the case. The client is free to hire new counsel at this time.
The new attorney can obtain a complete copy of the client’s file from the previous attorney so that there is little time loss.
Now, the previous attorney may still be entitled to compensation for their time and expenses. In Ohio, the previous attorney may be entitled to quantum meriut (or the value of the services they rendered). This will be paid upon the settlement or judgment after a trial. Your new attorney will have to pay a portion of their legal fees to the previous attorney—so you are not paying double legal fees.
While you are free to change attorneys at any time, you should keep in mind that you may have difficulty retaining a new attorney if you are close to your statute of limitations or your trial date.
Call me, it won’t cost you anything to see if I can help.