When people in Florida hire a lawyer to deal with a serious civil conflict or criminal charges, they may rely on their attorney to provide strong, skilled representation and see the case through to the end. Still, there are circumstances when an attorney should withdraw from representing a particular client under the American Bar Association’s rules of professional responsibility. Even lawyers withdrawing from a case retain some responsibilities to their clients. Unfortunately, some attorneys may not live up to these professional obligations, putting their clients’ well-being and financial future at risk.
In most cases, attorneys may be required to withdraw from representing a client when continuing could present another violation of professional responsibilities or the law, such as when a conflict of interest is discovered. In addition, lawyers who experience a change in physical or mental condition that impairs them significantly enough to prevent them from working may need to withdraw. Of course, a lawyer can also be dismissed by a client. Other lawyers may seek to withdraw from a case if they object to the client’s actions, they believe they are being used to advance a fraud or they face a severe financial burden.
At the same time, lawyers still have a responsibility to their clients. If they are voluntarily withdrawing from a case, they may need to ensure that their withdrawal will not materially affect their client in a negative way. They may be required to provide notice, hand over papers and refund advance payments.
Some attorneys may seek to withdraw from a case without protecting those interests, leaving clients with a difficult time securing new representation and losing cases as a result. People who have experienced losses due to a lawyer’s withdrawal may consult with a legal malpractice attorney about their options to take action.