A lot of us are compelled to seek legal representation at some point in our lives. One typical situation in which you may need the expertise of an attorney is when you have had enough of your company’s lack of cooperation in dealing with your complaint of discrimination or harassment. Typically, it is your company or employer’s duty to address any discriminatory or harassing conduct that is happening in the workplace. However, if your employer is doing nothing to resolve the issue, then the next best thing for you to do is obtain help from an attorney who specializes in dealing with employment and labor cases.
Basically, your lawyer who will represent you would guide you throughout your case, from the beginning to its conclusion, regardless if the dispute with your employer goes to court or is settled out of court. In a lot of employment and labor cases, clients maintain the same attorney from start to finish. Indeed, having shared your personal information with your attorney and at the same time establishing an attorney-client relationship that centers on trust and confidentiality makes him or her irreplaceable.
While this is an ideal setup, you must be aware that the lawyer you chose may not be your lawyer by the time your case is settled. In your ongoing case, you either decided to fire your employment attorney or your employment lawyer just quit on your case. Of the two, the latter is usually the most difficult, especially if you’ve already shared and discussed your predicament with him or her, having established a working relationship with him or her. Starting over with a different lawyer is just as difficult as with a counselor who deals with confidential matters. So to answer the question above: yes, your original legal counsel may quit your case.
There are situations wherein an employment lawyer can drop a case. Generally, he or she required to do so if the following arises:
- He or she is suspended from practicing employment law after representing you or any client, which is in violation of the law or rules of professional conduct.
- He or she is either incapable to represent you or any client either physically or mentally.
- The client terminated his or her relationship with the lawyer.
However, if the abovementioned doesn’t apply, your employment lawyer may quit your case, as long as the reason is a valid one and by doing so won’t adversely affect your interests. The following are some of the common valid reasons why your attorney may drop your case:
- If you happen to be in disagreement with your legal counsel over which approach is the best for your case, then the latter may consider withdrawing if it hasn’t been resolved.
- Your legal counsel may quit your case if you’re not cooperative or incapable of fulfilling your own obligations with regards the case. How can he or she possibly work through the resolution of your employment discrimination or harassment case if you don’t play your part? An attorney-client relationship lies on constant communication, which is an important component if a settlement win is what the client is aiming for. The attorney’s job is to provide you the best quality service. Thus, you shouldn’t waste all of it, or you may risk him or her withdrawing from your case.
- If you force your lawyer to do something that is in violation of his or her professional and ethical codes of conduct, then he or she may stop representing you.
Things you need to do when your attorney quits your case
So what’s next after your lawyer has parted ways with you? Below are some things you need to consider:
- Before formally ending your working relationship with him or her, it is best that your approach him or her for a referral to another attorney. It is generally a complex process, but it usually depends on the reason for the attorney’s withdrawal from your case.
- You may instead seek for a new lawyer on your own. Make sure that he or she is as effective as the previous one but is willing to represent you all throughout your case.
- If the relationship with your lawyer ended in a negative note, be sure to contact your state’s bar association or your state’s ethics review board to discuss the matter.