The moment you retain legal representation for any matter in Florida, you assume you are getting an advocate that is going to be with you until the conclusion of your case. Yet circumstances may arise that cause your attorney to feel the need to withdraw his or her services or recuse him or herself. Such a decision will likely have a significant impact on your case, which is why many come to us here at St Denis & Davey asking if this is even allowed. It is, but only if it is done correctly.
The Model Rules of Professional Conduct issued by the American Bar Association detail the exact circumstances in which your attorney may end representing you. These include:
- If it can be done without having an adverse effect on your interests
- If he or she believes that you are insisting on a course of action he or she believes to be unlawful or fraudulent
- If you have used his or her services to perpetrate fraud
- If he or she believes that you are insisting on a course of action against which he or she has a fundamental disagreement
- If he or she believes that you have failed in fulfilling the obligations related to your representation
- If continuing to represent you will result in him or her having to shoulder an unreasonable financial burden
Even in those situations where a lawyer may be justified in ending his or her involvement in your case, he or she must still give you advance notice that offers sufficient time for you to secure new representation. He or she must also surrender all documents and information you are entitled to, and refund any advance payments you previously made. More information on an attorney's obligations to you can be found here on our site.