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On Firing A Client

Jamison KoehlerLaw Practice

There is always a lot of discussion over at the ABA listserv Solosez about client relations.  People talk about the need to sometimes fire a client, which, from what people say, almost seems like a rite of passage for most lawyers.  Consider me now initiated.

Today I had to fire my first client.  I was reluctant to do it.  It was an interesting case, and I was very much looking forward to taking it to trial.  It will also be painful to refund the unspent legal fees currently sitting in my IOLTA account.

Mark Bennett has often talked about the importance of assuring a good fit between lawyer and client. In this case, without being too specific, the client and I have very different views on how to approach the case.  I will be citing in particular the “failure to cooperate” and “failure to heed counsel’s advice” from my engagement letter as grounds for withdrawal.

Just because you are innocent does not mean you do not have to cooperate with your lawyer.