What Are My Rights? Lawyer Dropped My Case. Options
Q: Legal question regarding a personal injury workers compensation case in Nevada where the lawyer suddenly notifies client that he is dropping the case. Details: After about 1.5 years of taking a personal injury worker's compensation case the lawyer notifies the client that he is dropping her case but gives no reason. Lawyer only states that this office will no longer be handling the case but the client may persue the case using another lawyer. Client asks why and lawyer refuses to give a reason. Questions: What is the law in regards to lawyers dropping a case? In the USA, is the law different from state to state? Is the lawyer required by law to give the client a reason why he is suddenly dropping the case? What can the client do if the lawyer refuses to give the reason why he is dropping the case?
A: -State laws differ in the details, but the general rule is lawyers can drop cases as long as the don't leave you with an impending deadline and no time to get a new attorney. They need court permission but that's easy to get in most circumstances. No. But if the lawyer has to get the court's permission to drop out, the lawyer must give the court a reason. Naturally, you will be in on that motion and will be given the reason. Get a new lawyer. Why do you care about the reason? Your new lawyer will figure out whether the reason has anything to do with malpractice. If the lawyers bailing out in order to cover up some mistake, like missing a deadline or whatever, it will become obvious. Then you and the lawyer's insurance carrier will discuss the reason. Don't sign a substitution of attorney -You can oppose him before the Court- fight his dropping the case. You can go to the Attorney Regulatory Counsel (Supreme Court Grievance Committee) and bring a Grievance against him. If he is being paid by an outside agency (like an Alternative Defense Council or something), you can talk to them- maybe have him dropped from their rolls. A lawyer taking your case is not a casual thing. If you accept being 'dropped' and don't question it in front of an authority over him, there is no controversy. If you bitch about it, he could lose his ticket. -The toughie is if you've struck a deal with a lawyer to cover expenses but on contengency otherwise. I just had a lawyer drop a case like that- my money's gone, he let the statute of limitations expire, and it looks like he doesn't even carry malpractice insurance. -First, I like to thank you and the others for your replies. I appreciate all the advise. I'm seeking this advise for a good friend of mine. Ok, the reason the lawyer dropped the case could prove to be useful for working with the next attorney. In other words, did he drop the case because he did not believe the client's side of the story, or was it because the case was too hard to prove, or maybe he just didn't like the client. See what I'm saying? In knowing the reason, the client would know better what to do different when working with the next attorney. For example, if the lawyer felt the case was too weak, the client could work harder ro gather more supporting evidence before consulting with the next attorney. It just seems like a horrible thing to do where the lawyer basically did nothing for about 1.5 years while the injured client remains in constant excruciating pain and financial devistation, waiting for some action and then the lawyer suddenly quits with no explanation just 1 month before the next worker's comp hearing. I was hoping that there was a law that protected the client from such treatment.
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