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Thank you for your question.
The answer is No, you will not get in trouble with the Court because you are not required to sign a substitution of attorney until you find a new attorney. The lawyer can file a motion to be relieved as counsel, which is usually heard on about 30 calendar days notice.
The lawyer is not supposed to quit in a way that is harmful to the client, whether or not the client owes money to the lawyer.
(2) A member shall not withdraw from employment until the member has taken reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client, including giving due notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, complying with rule 3-700(D), and complying with applicable laws and rules.
Once you have a new attorney, you can sign a substitution of attorney, and, if you feel that the first one overcharged, you can demand fee arbitration, see
I hope this information is helpful.
I would say at least a few weeks but I am unaware of any specific time requirement.
The Rule says: "due notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel," which is somewhat vague so it depends on the circumstances.
How long ago did he tell you he wants out?
Is there any time sensitive matter pending? Any upcoming court dates?
Have you told him to stop working on the case other than the minimum needed not to commit malpractice?
You need to find new representation as quickly as possible.
What is the February hearing about?