You are always smarter afterward. Maybe you feel the same way with your lawyer. If the chemistry is not right or you are dissatisfied with your divorce proceedings, you should consider switching lawyers.
The most important thing for you
- The legal mandate is a relationship of trust. You can end the mandate at any time.
- If you have concluded the mandate via the website of a lawyer or a lawyer portal as a distance contract, you can also withdraw your consent within the withdrawal period.
- Take into account that you should have understandable reasons as far as possible to change lawyers while the proceedings are ongoing.
- If you terminate the mandate, your lawyer can calculate the fees that he has already earned with his work.
- If you have been granted legal aid, you will be assigned a new lawyer, but with the restriction that the court fund does not incur any additional costs through the reassignment of a lawyer.
1. You are not married to your lawyer!
A lawyer’s mandate is a service contract. It establishes a relationship of trust. If you are dissatisfied or if you simply do not trust your lawyer, you can terminate the mandate at any time. After all, you are not married to your lawyer. Since you can expect your lawyer to accompany you competently, reliably and confidently through your divorce proceedings, you can terminate the mandate at any time if you wish. However, you should not completely ignore certain circumstances.
2. What are the possible reasons for a change of lawyer?
The legal mandate is a relationship of trust. Any reason that permanently and noticeably affects this trust can constitute a reason for the change of lawyer. Consider your attorney
- It feels like it takes forever to process your mandate or to prepare briefs,
- Missed deadlines,
- has personal and disinterested contact with your spouse,
- You are not informed or not informed in a timely manner about the status of the proceedings,
- Does not explain the content of the opposing pleadings to you,
- Urges you to make an inappropriate, unfair or unjust comparison,
- refuses to provide you with a cost estimate because of the likely procedural costs,
- Sends a cost calculation in which the usual cost estimates are far exceeded for no comprehensible reasons,
- Have your mandate processed exclusively by an inexperienced trainee lawyer or
- You simply have the feeling that you are somehow insufficiently, convincingly, competently and reliably represented.
3. Can I revoke the lawyer’s contract?
Contracts that you have concluded as a distance selling contract using means of distance communication are subject to a right of withdrawal. You can also revoke the lawyer’s contract if you have contacted the divorce lawyer Las Vegas via his website, but not if you have visited the lawyer in his office and assigned your representation. However, the lawyer’s mere website is not enough. Rather, the website must be designed in such a way that the lawyer uses the website to initiate, conclude and carry out potential mandates. This right of withdrawal also applies if you have been referred to the lawyer via a lawyer portal. Please note that the withdrawal period from the signature of the attorney’s power of attorney is 14 days. If you have not been properly instructed about your right of withdrawal.
4. When can I terminate the lawyer’s contract?
If you have not issued the legal mandate as a distance contract or if you have missed the withdrawal period so that you have no right of withdrawal, you can still terminate the legal mandate without notice. Since the legal mandate represents an absolute relationship of trust, you do not even need to give an important reason for a termination. It is enough that you are simply dissatisfied or have a bad feeling. So you can change lawyers without having to give your previous lawyer an important reason. So don’t let the fact that you have to “terminate” the mandate put you off. After all, the mandate is a matter of trust. Therefore, you can end it at any time. You don’t need to feel guilty.
5. What should I consider if I terminate the mandate?
But: don’t quit on a whim. After all, you are in some way connected to your lawyer. Your lawyer knows your situation. Before revoking or terminating your mandate, you should speak to your attorney that you have a problem. If possible, give the lawyer the chance to clear up the problem and accommodate your wishes. Also, take into account that your divorce proceedings may be so advanced that changing lawyers, so to speak, could be detrimental. Eventually, a new attorney will need to familiarize himself with your procedure. It can be advantageous if you get a second opinion before giving notice. Find a lawyer who can advise you on whether it is really appropriate in your situation to terminate the legal mandate and change attorney. A second opinion can help you make the right decision. Your current attorney does not need to know about this for you to get a second opinion.
6. What can you expect from your lawyer?
Lawyers can’t do magic either. Lawyers are not social workers, nor are they therapists or marriage counselors when it comes to divorce. Lawyers have the task of advising you on the legal rules according to which you can handle your divorce proceedings. Note that the lawyer has to look after your interests, but at the same time he is an independent body of the administration of justice and can only represent your interests within the legal framework. So only expect what you can expect in compliance with the law and the professional code of lawyers. So do not have the idea that you are right from the start and that the court should award you your right unconditionally.
7. Does a change of lawyer result in additional fees?
No service provider works for free. If you terminate the legal mandate, your lawyer can hardly forego the fees that he has earned for his previous work. However, if you have understandable reasons for changing your lawyer, you should negotiate the amount of your fees. The better you explain the reason for the change of lawyer, the better cards you have. At best, the lawyer’s fee claim is reduced towards zero if you can prove that he was behaving in breach of contract or demonstrably inadequate work performance.
However, if you have given the lawyer incomplete or even untruthful information about your situation, you will hardly be able to refuse the lawyer the fee he deserves. So, your lawyer will charge you at least one procedural fee. If he has already represented you at an oral court hearing, the appointment fee has also been incurred.
8. Can I change attorney if I have received legal aid?
If the court has granted you state legal aid based on your financial circumstances, the lawyer was assigned to you by decision of the court. The state then pays the procedural costs. If you terminate the mandate and change attorney, legal aid will continue to exist. Your new lawyer will also be assigned to you if you can give objectively understandable and sustainable reasons for the change of lawyer and the court fund will not incur any additional costs as a result of the change. If, from the court’s point of view, there are no valid reasons, a new lawyer will only be assigned with the restriction that the state treasury will not incur any additional costs.
9. How does the change of lawyer take place?
You are on the safe side if you ask your new lawyer to terminate the mandate with your previous lawyer on your behalf. Your new lawyer will then inform your spouse and the court that they will represent you in future divorce proceedings. You do not need to notify the court of the change of lawyer yourself. Your new lawyer will request the files from your previous lawyer and continue the proceedings. Your previous lawyer may not withhold the correspondence in his file and the related documents, even if he is still claiming a fee. Of course, you will accelerate the handover procedure if you settle the outstanding and well-founded fee claim from your previous lawyer.
10. Last but not least: act carefully but quickly!
If you actually feel that you are badly informed, advised and represented, you should change lawyers. Any delay threatens to aggravate your problem. The sooner you decide, the better your new lawyer can represent you.