What can you do if you are unhappy with your lawyer?

If you are like many California residents, a time may come when you need to hire an attorney. Maybe you need a divorce attorney, or perhaps you are in search of someone who can defend you on a criminal charge or help you out after an accident. Regardless of the type of attorney you hire, in doing so, you enter into a relationship with this person, and given how much of an investment hiring a lawyer can prove to be, you want to feel confident in the person you entrust to work on your behalf.

So, what can you do if you hire an attorney, but then develop serious concerns about his or her ability to represent you? Per the American Bar Association, there is an important difference between feeling dissatisfaction over the outcome of your case and having genuine questions about your lawyer’s ability to represent you. Say, for example, that you have valid complaints about your attorney’s representation of you, and you attempt to discuss your concerns with your lawyer, but he or she refuses. You can, as a client, fire your attorney and hire another one, and in most cases, your old attorney will have to provide the new one with pertinent information relating to your case.

Your attorney also has an ethical duty to provide you with a certain level of care, and if he or she fails to do so, he or she may find himself or herself censured, reprimanded, suspended or disbarred. More specifically, your lawyer must maintain a level of confidentiality and avoid any conflicts of interest when handling your case, and he or she also must work diligently on his or her efforts to provide you with adequate representation. If your lawyer fails to do so and you are unable to find a solution through other means, you may want to consider filing a complaint against your attorney with the State Bar of California.

While this information provides a general overview of your options when you are unhappy with your attorney, it is not a replacement for legal advice.