Call or Email Today:

713-862-8880

Available 24/7 - Free Consultations

Houston Criminal
Law Blog

Withdrawing From a Court Case: When a Defense Attorney Can or MUST Quit

Posted on June 19, 2013 by Mintzer Law

There are multiple instances where a client may desire new representation in their case. For the client, this process is simple and only takes them expressing their intent to part ways with their current counsel. There are no specific requirements that pertain to when a client can fire their attorney, but the same is not true for the attorney. A lawyer may only stop representing a client under certain circumstances or when specific requirements are met.

Required to Withdraw

There are some instances when an attorney is required to withdraw from a case in order to ensure the client receives adequate counsel in their case. Some of these instances include:

  • The lawyer is unable to represent their client due to physical or mental complications.
  • The lawyer is not able to legally represent the client due to their ability to practice law being suspended or revoked.
  • The client has dismissed the lawyer from their case.

Choice to Withdraw

There are also instances where a lawyer may choose to withdraw from a case. These are often to protect either the client or the lawyer and ensure the counsel the client receives is working in their best interest.

  • Lack of client cooperation: If a client does not communicate with the attorney or give them the facts needed, this can result in the counsel resigning. An attorney needs to have an open line of communication with their client in order to properly represent them.
  • Lack of payment: If a client fails to pay, this can result in the attorney resigning. This is most often spelled out in a contract that is signed by the client before representation ever begins.
  • Conflict of interest: A lawyer cannot represent two competing people or companies. The only way this can be accomplished is if both parties sign a waiver allowing the lawyer to represent them both. If either of the parties does not agree, then the lawyer must excuse himself from the case.
  • Differing approaches: A case will often have many factors, and sometimes clients and lawyers can’t agree on how to best approach a case. In this instance it is often best if the relationship is terminated so that the client can seek other counsel.
  • Permission from Client: If an attorney requests to withdraw, and the client agrees, this is an acceptable reason.

There are instances where an attorney may be chosen in haste, and a change may later be desired. Rules, such as those stated above, allow the client to receive the best possible counsel without worry of being abandoned mid-case by their attorney.

If you have recently parted ways with your legal counsel, talk to Rand Mintzer today at 713-862-8880 to see if he is the right legal match for you.