Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Pennsylvania Licensed, Practicing Attorney and I will be glad to assist you,
a client can fire his Attorney at any time. There are only a few instances, however, where an Attorney can drop a client without requesting the permission of the Court. Where litigation has not been started in a case, an Attorney can drop a client . In cases where litigation has been started, the Attorney would have to file a "Motion for Leave to Withdraw", have a hearing where the client can express his objection or acquiescence, and ask the Court's permission to withdraw from a case.
I wish that I could tell you that there is a way to guard against the Attorney dropping your case, but since he has not started litigation, the only way that he would be prevented from dropping the case is if the Statute of Limitations was about to expire.
If he wants to drop your case, he can pick on anything you say and act like you have offended him. That would take a lot of nerve on his part, but it would not be the first time I have seen this happen. In Pennsylvania, it is a rule that all Attorneys must follow that when an Attorney takes on a client, he/she is required to sign a Retainer Agreement with the client and the client gets a copy of this. This Retainer Agreement outlines the Attorney's responsibility to the client and outlines the scope of the Attorney's representation. Your rights will be found in the "four corners" of the Retainer Agreement.
He is not acting in a professional or responsible manner because under the Rules o Conduct and the Code of Professional Responsibility, an Attorney has the obligation to keep the client informed about the status of his case at all times. If he has his assistant or paralegal communicating with you, he should not be complaining if you reply to them. He has the obligation to communicate with you, not the other way around. You do not have to an extra mile and copy him on everything if he has not given you the courtesy of communicating with you directly. You have a right to expect that any communication you have with his assistant, secretary, paralegal, or anyone else he has working on your case, will be transmitted to him. He is probably charging you his hourly rate for work that he has his secretary doing. I imagine you probably have not asked him for an itemized bill which an Attorney is supposed to send to clients periodically.
Please allow me to say this - If you allow him to intimidate you, then he will intimidate you. You are a paying client (but even if you were not a paying client) the fact that the Attorney accepted your case, and your money, imposes on him the obligation to act in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct and if his behavior falls below that, he can be reported to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board. Believe me, the Pennsylvania Board is so strict, they even examine our conduct in our personal lives!
If you do not assert your right to know the status of your case, he does not appear to be the type that would give you the status voluntarily, even though he has an obligation to do so. You should not be afraid of him, or afraid to ask him point blank, "Why hasn't the case been filed with the Magisterial District Court yet?" or, "What seems to be the problem or the reason for the delay?", or "When do you anticipate the case being filed with the Magisterial District Court?" Remember, the best defense is an offense and if he has done nothing on your case, he figures by taking the offense, he will intimidate you enough so that you do not ask questions, and that is what it looks like he is doing. I hope that the Statute of Limitations is not yet an issue in your case.
What County is this and what is the nature of the case ?
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