In Arizona Can I Change Attorneys While My Case Is In Progress?

Selecting the right attorney for your case is extremely important and can make a big difference in its outcome.  It is not always an easy process.  Here is what you should look for in the hiring process.

In these days of email and reduced interpersonal relations, at the very least face to face personal meetings with an attorney prior to hiring him or her and during the progress of case are critical.  You and the attorney need to size each other up and work together as a team.  Even with such meetings, it is not always easy to anticipate whether your attorney will perform as he or she promises until the commitment has already been made and the case is in progress.

Meeting Your Attorney

Hopefully you make or made the right decision and things go well.  In many instances, however, issues may develop which create doubt whether your retained attorney is serving your best interests and will ultimately prevail on your behalf. Here is a brief checklist to help you determine whether you are in good hands.  The following are common problems clients encounter when their attorney are not serving their client’s best interests:

  • The attorney fails to satisfactorily communicate with you on a regular basis.
  • The attorney does not seem to understand your case or the concerns you express (although he or she presumptively is more knowledgeable about what will succeed in court or with opposing counsel)
  • The attorney does not seem to have the compassion, or dedication or intelligence to win.
  • The attorney does not keep promises or does not perform work in a timely manner.
  • The attorney is unprofessional -unprepared for meetings or discussions, disorganized, not punctual, fails to give proper financial accounting or other similar

If you are experiencing significant problems such as those listed above or others that seem compelling, here are other points to consider:

  • Will changing attorneys be damaging or detrimental to my case or pending legal issues?
  • Is my case so complex and at such a stage that trying to bring in a new attorney will in the larger perspective create additional problems which will be insurmountable?
  • Am I considering a change because I am upset with a Court ruling, or because the case seems to be moving too slowly or because facts have not developed in my favor or because it is costing too much? These are things which may be out of the attorney’s control and you need to decide whether changing attorney’s will potentially produce better results?
  • Have you already changed attorneys in your case?

Before Terminating Your Attorney’s Representation

  • Make sure you have met with him or her and have discussed your concerns and listed to the response given. Determine if the problems are properly resolvable.  It not, move forward.
  • Review the Retainer Agreement you signed with your current attorney to determine what procedural steps must be taken to terminate the relationship.
  • Meet with other attorneys carefully selected to explain your situation and get their feedback. Be assured you can get good legal representation before you fire your current attorney.
  • If a new attorney is interested in accepting your case, have him or her confirm that they will take responsibility for getting your files and will notify the court regarding your change of representation.  There are certain other measures they should agree to take to achieve a smooth transition.  All money matters (unearned fees on account, costs, etc.). must also be worked out by the new attorney with the old.

Remember, A good attorney client relationship must be based on mutual trust and if that trust relationship is broken, it is extremely difficult for the attorney and client to successfully work together and achieve a good result.  you are usually free to find a new attorney, but the ultimate decision is often complicated.

Call Us for a Case Review

In your search, you are welcome to call us for case review and advice. We work in the following areas.

We Will Give You a Second Opinion, Free of Charge

We will discuss the underlying facts of your case and the representation you are receiving to determine whether we agree a possible change would be beneficial to you or not. Whether you are working with a personal injury, probate dispute, or business litigation attorney, we can help. You have the right to change attorneys, if that is your wish, but you must believe overall it is in your bests interests and will bring you the best possible

If you would like to discuss your case with us in strict confidentiality, please call the Law Offices of William D. Black at 602 265-2600 or Email us at