If you are in the midst of a divorce case, you must have confidence in your attorney. If you reach a juncture at which you have trust issues, you may wonder what strategy you need to employ. You may wonder what you need to do if you do not trust your lawyer’s advice in your divorce case.
Candidly and Directly Discuss Your Concerns
The first step that you need to take in regard to addressing the issue of not trusting your divorce lawyer’s advice is raising the issue with him or her. Taking a passive aggressive approach will be a disservice to you.
Schedule an appointment with your attorney. Do not merely telephone your lawyer or send him or her an email listing your concerns. This is one of those occasions in which your interests are best served by raising your concerns in a face-to-face meeting with your divorce lawyer.
Try to avoid be accusatory when you do meet with your lawyer. You need to be honest and direct. However, you do not need to be confrontational.
Do not make an immediate decision about taking further action directly after the meeting. Take or two to ponder the matter at hand. If there is something more specific about your lawyer’s conduct, perhaps you will want to see if he or she alters course, which may require at least some time.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your meeting with your divorce lawyer, you may need to take additional steps. You need to pay attention to upcoming deadlines or court hearings in your case. You need to make sure that you coordinate your activity in regard to the trust issue with your lawyer in a manner that does not hamper or impair your case.
Seek a Second Opinion
An initial step you can consider taking if you start to lose confidence in your attorney’s advice, you can seek a second opinion. However, you need to understand that seeking a second legal opinion while you are represented by a lawyer is easier said than done.
According to the Code of Professional Responsibility, and similar sets of guidelines governing the conduct of attorneys from one state to another, there are limitations regarding what a lawyer can say and do with someone else’s client. Therefore, you may need to think a bit beyond the legal community when you feel you are in need of obtaining a second opinion on the advice you are receiving from your lawyer.
You can brainstorm with a trusted friend, family member, or colleague. In this regard, you ideally should consider seeking out a person who has been through a divorce case and whose judgment you generally trust.
Seek a New Attorney
If your lack of confidence and trust in your divorce lawyer is significant, or if it persists, you simply should not maintain a professional relationship with that individual. If the lack of confidence in your attorney becomes so profound or constant, the situation will end up having a negative impact on your case.
You can seek out alternative counsel before terminating your existing divorce attorney. In fact, that is the desired course of action. Keep in mind, as mentioned a moment ago, as long as you are represented by another lawyer, another attorney will be limited in what he or she will and can do for you professionally.
Once you obtain a commitment from alternate counsel, you can begin the process of terminating the attorney you no longer trust or have confidence in. Ultimately, you need to send your existing attorney a written communication terminating representation.
Retainer Fee Issue
If you have paid a retainer to your attorney, and at least part of it remains unearned, you have a right to have that refunded to you. If you reach a juncture at which you need to terminate your attorney, include in the written communication ending your relationship a request for an immediate recapitulation of earned fees, contrasted with the retainer paid at the start of representation. Ask your a prompt refund of any unearned retainer. Keep in mind that you are likely to need this money to assist in paying the costs associated with retaining an alternate attorney in your case.