Tulsa Attorney BlogWhy Did My Attorney Fire Me?

There Could Be Many Reasons

Video Transcribed: Hello, this is Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney, Brian Jackson. I’d like to talk to you guys about issues that can arise that could lead your attorney to withdraw from your case. I will pass over the issue of money because I think that one goes without saying. Obviously, if you contract to pay someone to do a job, you need to pay it. So I’m not going to really harp on that issue too much.

The issues I’d like to talk about, though, are conflicts. The typical division of decision-making power between attorney and client usually is that in terms of the substantive outcome of the case, that is, what the relief being sought is going to be, what’s an acceptable settlement.

Those types of decisions are for the client to make. The client can choose, “Okay, what I want to ask for, and if an offer’s made, what do I want to take? And if I don’t want to take it, whether or not I want to go to trial”

Because those effects are substantive, the core of the case, why you’re in court. And obviously, it’s the client’s issue, not the lawyer’s issue. The lawyer, however, gets to choose how you get there. And what I mean by that is that the tactical decisions, things like what type of discovery is going to be done, what kind of emotions are going to be filed?

What kind of court hearings might be conducted, with the exception of obviously the client went to trial, they have a right to have a trial, but other types of court hearings, that’s usually left to the attorney to decide.

Also when you retain an attorney, you’re retaining them as an expert. In other words, you’re hiring that lawyer, because that lawyer is an expert in law in whatever field of law you’ve hired them to do. And in the case for our purposes, that would be family law.

So you’re paying them good money to give you the benefit of their expertise and knowledge in the field, and also to give you the benefit of their experience with that particular court. One of the things that can lead to conflict is if your attorney advises you to do something based on their experience and knowledge, and you just patently refuse, that can lead to problems. Now, you certainly are allowed to tell your attorney things like, “Well, I don’t like that. I don’t like that resolution. Don’t do that.” That’s fine.

What I’m talking about is, for example, if you’re told, well, just as an example, if you’re told you need to turn over your pay stubs to your attorney so that they can give them to the other side, which is required and you refuse, well, you’re creating a problem because the attorney is obliged to comply with the law.

Law says you have turned out over, therefore you have turned that over. Another example of the type of conflict that can arise is if you ask your attorney to do something that he or she knows is illegal or if you attempt to utilize his or her services to do something illegal that can set up a conflict, can require an attorney to withdraw.

Refusal to communicate. The refusal, to help comply with deadlines. Those types of things can set up conflicts. And those can lead to your attorney withdrawing, if you tie their hands, if you refuse to comply with something that you need to do for your own good, it can lead the attorney to withdraw.

Other situations are if you ask the attorney to do something that you know is unethical. One example is that as an attorney, we are not allowed to put the testimony that we know is false, or we have good reason to believe is false.

We also can’t submit exhibits that we know are false or have good reason to believe are false. I mean, one, that’s illegal, it’s perjury, in the case of false testimony. But the other thing is, from an attorney standpoint, it’s highly unethical. If we know that something isn’t true, we’re not allowed to misrepresent things to the court, at least not knowingly or where we should have known.

And any of those kinds of a situation can create a problem that can lead to your attorney withdrawing. Obviously, you don’t want to be in that situation, so these are things to avoid. If you’re paying good money to an attorney for advice, at least consider their advice reasonably. Just because it’s an answer you don’t like, it may be that even if you don’t like it, you might want to follow it anyway, because it’s in your best interest. And that attorney knows things you don’t.

It’s kind of like if you go to your doctor and you love that bacon cheeseburger for lunch every day, your doctor says, “Look, you’re gaining some weight. You need to lose weight.” You don’t like hearing that. And nobody likes being told, look, you’re getting a little chunky.

And certainly, nobody likes to be told that you can’t eat your favorite food, but doctors telling you that because you’re paying them to give you good advice about what’s in your own best interest. And it’s the same idea here. We may tell you to do something from time to time that you don’t like, or that you disagree with, but we’re not doing it because we’re trying to hassle you. We’re trying to be your ally.

And to be your ally sometimes means that we have to tell you stuff you don’t like and give you advice that leads you to have to do things you may not want to do. But it’s in your best interests to follow that advice because there is a reason it’s being given and you’re paying good money for an expert to advise you on how to proceed. And among other things, if you don’t follow that advice, you’re throwing your money out the window. So you do want to follow that advice. If you need a Tulsa Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, visit makelaweasy.com.

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