a corporation has paid a lawyer 15,000 dollars over a year, the civil case has dragged on for nearly a year. He claims we owe him 7,000 $ and has stopped representing us. WE have always paid but we were never billed properly ie: attendance at court =$1000.00. he has now applied for a motion for removal of lawyer of record. Do we need to respond with a factum or just arrive at the court
Province/Territory relating to question: Ontario
we have paid 15,000$ and now are left to hire another lawyer and start over
Hello:If you want to oppose this lawyer withdrawing from the case, it would be best to try and prepare some argument ahead of time, not just show up cold. A judge will usually appreciate having some knowledge of your position ahead of time, and preparing a formal brig can allow you to go into more detail than may be possible in oral argument. But a written factum is not mandatory, and particularly in this case with an unrepresented client a judge will not likely be critical if you do not prepare a written argument.A lawyer is not allowed to withdraw from representing a client ethically without some valid reason, and if the withdrawal is on the eve of trial or so on and would seriously prejudice the client, the court can require the lawyer to continue. You could also have the lawyer's bills assessed by the court registrar if you think that they have been unfair or excessive. The assessor has the power to reduce a lawyer's bill if it is excessive or the work was not performed, or the work was not authorized. You would need to normally give notice that you want an assessment within 30 days of receiving the bill, but a court can extend that time on an application to do so. Here is an address to a pro bono brochure that explains this assessment process in detail:http://www.lawhelpontario.org/library/attachment.154477Law.Hut41088.0179352199
with over 15 years experience.