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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
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I had an attorney that was defending me. I was unable to keep

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I had an attorney that was defending me. I was unable to keep up with his fees after he took the case. He is now filing a motion to withdraw, but he has not had his hearing yet. Can he just stop representing me before the hearing? What should I say to the court? Am I simply in the wrong here, or does he have to keep handling my case until the court grants him leave?
Its urgent, as the plaintiff has filed a motion for default judgment and the attorney has refused to respond to it for me.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To answer your question directly, if you are at the point where you are being heard in court (you are at the trial part of your suit), the attorney cannot directly stop representing you such such a failure may adversely affect your case and make potentially open the attorney for malpractice. But if a judge allows him to withdraw, then he can wholly cease his presentation of you. The best option for you is to stress that his removal would adversely and potentially fatally affect your case, you have no time or ability to retain other counsel, and you can create a payment plan with the attorney as a means of ensuring compensation for his assistance. In terms of being in the 'wrong', you do owe your attorney compensation for the work that he is doing on your behalf, and you cannot simply not pay him. If you do not pay him most professionals can simply quit helping you, it is just that attorneys are limited based on the apparent need to the case of their client. Having said that, the attorney can legitimate refuse to perform additional services if those services do not affect the underlying case. In a case of a default judgment petition, it likely shows that you are not yet at the trial phase of the case, and consequently the attorney can refuse to respond until he is compensated.

Good luck.

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