A lot of things can happen during a trial, and sometimes, the person you trusted at the beginning to win your case can fail or disappoint you. That is far from ideal, but it is part of reality.
Lawyer-client relationships are not always smooth-sailing and there can be situations when you’re forced to switch legal counsel in the middle of your case. You need permission from the court to do change legal representation halfway through the trial, and you’ll only get it if the judge is assured that the trial will proceed and will not be put in jeopardy.
The first step is the lawyer’s application to withdraw from the case. A withdrawal can be mandatory or voluntary, depending on the situation. The mandatory withdrawal arises when the attorney is required by the court to leave the case, such as when the lawyer is no longer competent to continue or there’s conflict of interest. On the other hand, a voluntary withdrawal usually happens when the client and the lawyer can no longer work together on the case and the contract of services between them has been terminated.
The judge has to evaluate how the attorney’s withdrawal will affect the case before giving the lawyer permission to leave. The court upholds the integrity of the trial and a sudden change of lawyer can upset that. Worse, that change can result in the client’s reduced capacity to litigate properly and may impact the verdict.
Before you quit your current lawyer and start looking for a new one, think of the consequences. If you’re having issues with your legal strategy or need to clarify fee arrangements with your lawyer, do so without hesitation Getting a new lawyer mid-trial might seem like a perk, but that decision comes with extra retainer fees and more pressure on your case.