When is it Okay for Attorneys to Withdraw Mid-Case?

Posted on: February 11, 2015 by Newmark Insurance

When is it Okay for Attorneys to Withdraw Mid-Case?

As an attorney, you are on the front line, providing a variety of legal services to your clients; advice and litigation involving family law, civil litigation, trusts and estates, business contracts and more. These services require attorneys to have legal and financial protection of their own, since their advice could potentially lead a client to make the wrong decision. Even if no error has been made, attorneys face Attorneys Professional Liability Insurance risks just by the nature of who they serve and what they do.

Due to these risks, attorneys often find themselves at a crossroads when met with certain types of clients, leaving them to wonder if, and how, they can withdraw from the case they’ve already invested time in. The good news is withdrawing from a case is not impossible, and is not illegal as long as certain criteria is met.

One of the top reasons an attorney may withdraw from a case is if a conflict of interest exists. Lawyers and their firms may not represent people or companies that are adversaries. In certain cases, a lawyer can ask for permission called a “conflict waiver” from each party acknowledging the conflict, however if you learn after the case has begun that this conflict exists and are unable to obtain this waiver from both parties, you must remove yourself from the case.

There have been occasions in which a client’s approach for a case is not the same approach that the lawyer would take. If you and your client are unable to reach an agreement, the most ethical thing for you to do is withdraw from the case. You may also withdraw from the case if a client gives you permission to.

Occasionally, a client may fail to cooperate, communicate, or fulfill their obligations for the case in question. Lawyers must have regular communication and interaction with their client; you may need your client to answer questions, provide documentation, or otherwise assist you so that you can give the service the client needs and deserves. If you have made legitimate requests that your client has failed to come through on, you might be permitted to take yourself off the case.

The above mentioned factors are not the only reasons you could withdraw. Personality conflicts, a client’s failure to pay your fees, and a client’s unethical, fraudulent, or criminal activity are other reasons.

At NewMark Insurance Services, we understand the unique risks you face as a lawyer or attorney. We offer comprehensive Professional Liability Insurance policies for a number of professions, including attorneys, real estate agents, and more. For more information about our products and services, please contact us today at (855) 777-6549.

Posted in: Attorney Professional Liability blog