If you are working with an attorney in California and he or she suddenly withdraws from the case, this can be problematic, especially if the case has been going on for a while. While you may be able to take legal action against the lawyer, you should also know that there are some valid reasons why an attorney may withdraw and still be within the confines of the law.
According to FindLaw, there are certain reasons when a lawyer must withdraw from a case. If something happens that makes it mentally or physically impossible to continue, an attorney may withdraw quite quickly. The law may require an attorney to walk away if a conflict of interest comes up.
There are other times in which the law may not require withdrawal, but the lawyer chooses to walk away. This is legal if:
- The client does not pay
- The client asks the attorney to be fraudulent
- The client uses the services to perpetrate a crime
The American Bar Association discusses that an attorney can withdraw if the client fails to satisfy an obligation. If an attorney withdraws, he or she must take proper steps to terminate representation. This includes giving advanced notice if at all possible, refunding any unused money that the client paid, allowing time for the client to find another attorney and submitting the client's file and any paperwork that the law requires.
If there is no good cause for an attorney's withdrawal, the law may require he or she to continue representing the client. If not, then legal action towards the lawyer may be the proper approach.