Can I Change My Lawyer and Do I have to Pay an Extra Fee if I Fire My Attorney?
There is a belief that once you hire an attorney and sign a contract with him or her that you are not allowed to change your lawyer or fire your attorney for that case unless you have a very serious reason for doing so. This could not be further from the truth. In Louisiana, you can change your lawyer or fire your attorney for any reason whatsoever or even no reason at all. We often get clients asking “if I want to change my lawyer, won’t I have to pay more money?” “If I fire my attorney, does that mean I have to pay two times the legal fees?” The good news is that if you change your lawyer, it will not cost you any extra legal fee.
That’s right you can change your lawyer at any time, for any reason, without any notice, and for no additional cost, as explained more below.
Do I have to Pay an Extra Fee if I Change my Lawyer or Fire My Attorney?
If you change your lawyer or fire your attorney, you do not have to pay your new lawyer another fee or pay double the fees. In Louisiana, all attorneys who you hire work on your case, if they are entitled to a fee, will share ONE FEE between them and the contract with the highest fee applies even if you changed your lawyer multiple times in the case. For example, if your case settled for $30,000.00 and there were no expenses and there is a 1/3 fee, the attorney would set aside $10,000 for all of your attorneys, both your old lawyer and new lawyer, to split up. So, you keep to keep as much money as you would have if you did not change your lawyer at all.
At Kiefer & Kiefer, if you want to change your attorney, we agree to match our contract contingency fees to your previous attorney’s fee. That is, we guarantee that if you change your lawyer and hire us, the fee will not be one penny more if you change your lawyer.
Do I have to Fire My Lawyer? How do I Fire My Attorney?
Additionally, we get a lot of questions from our clients asking “Do I have to fire my attorney?” “Can I just change my attorney?” or “How can I fire my lawyer?” Under Louisiana law, you can change your attorney at any time and for any reason and without any notice. So, you do not have to “fire” your attorney. If you are unhappy with the services of your lawyer, you can tell them you want to change your attorney and keep a good relationship with your lawyer. On the other hand, if you want to fire your lawyer and do not want to speak with him or her further, you don’t have to. If you want to change your lawyer, you can send a letter to your old attorney and we will work out the file transfer for you.
Will Changing my Lawyer Make My Case Last Longer?
One of the main concerns our clients have is asking “WIll Changing my Attorney delay my case?” The good news is that in the very vast majority of cases, the answer is “No.” At Kiefer & Kiefer, if you change your lawyer, we will work with your other attorney to get all of your file materials to get up to speed on your case as soon as possible. We also have access to all of the Court records and, if necessary, pull all of that information ourselves so that we can give you advice immediately. In fact, one of our partners just inherited an eight year old case that was set with major hearings less than one week after our new client changed his lawyer to us. She reviewed thousands of pages of documents, filed additional briefs in the court and handled (and won) the hearing without having to ask for a continuance.
Why Should I hire Kiefer & Kiefer? Will it be Different than my Other Attorney?
At Kiefer & Kiefer, we know litigation is stressful on our clients, and so our main goal is to not delay anything if we can avoid it, even if it means reviewing your file after you change your lawyer over the weekend. We give you our cell phone numbers so that you can reach us at all times. Additionally, we have almost 100 years of experience that we apply to our cases and so we are able to get you better results.
This year alone, we were able to quickly resolve cases that were brought to us after our clients were unhappy with their prior attorneys. In a case we just took from another attorney, we realized the attorney had made a major mistake and missed a crucial argument to be made against an insurance company. When we got the file, we made that argument and the case quickly resolved for over $300,000 more than the previous lawyer agreed to settle for! In another case we just took over, our client was told by her previous attorney that she did not have a case and they fired her! We disagreed and got her over $20,000 almost immediately. Additionally, in another case we just took over, we realized the previous attorney had made a mistake and did not even serve the lawsuit on the defendants for over a year and so nothing had happened in one year of the litigation while the client sat thinking that her case was being worked on.
Some of our most recent client reviews state:
“Megan is AWESOME!! She was very attentive to all of my needs and concerns. She answered all questions I had and went out of her way to make sure I was throughly taken care of. She was always available when needed. she was a pleasure to work with!!!” —- Sierra, February 2019
“The absolute best experience I could have hoped for. Superseded my own expectations and I got the attention and professionalism at the highest level. I highly recommend Kiefer & Kiefer!” — Jonathan, February 2019
“Very pleased with Miss Kiefer. She kept me updated through e-mails on a regular basis since I live in Texas and explained what I could and should expect to come. I would recommend her and hire her again if ever needed.” —- Anonymous, 2019
“Love the attention we got when negotiating my settlement for my left shoulder. Thank you so much Kris.” — Leylana, March 2019
At the end of the day, all attorneys want their clients to be happy. If you don’t like your lawyer because she does not return your calls, has messed up your case, has made comments that you don’t like, he talks down to you, he is trying to get you to see doctors you don’t want to see, or you just don’t think he is doing a good job, then it is perfectly fine under Louisiana law to change your lawyer and, if you change to us, you will get better compensation and will not spend a penny more on legal fees.