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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 110473
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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If I want to change my workmans comp. attorney because he

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If I want to change my workman's comp. attorney because he is going back on a verbal agreement we had 3 times, can I do it before it's too late? I did sign a contract, but it is not dated and I don't think it is official really. It is a family friend. I just received a letter regarding a supersedeas, and now my attorney is going back on his word again. All he has done is collect my medical records, all of which I have. He was supposed to have change my initial diagnosis on my paperwork for the Dept. of Labor a while ago and he is just doing it now because of this letter.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

You have a right to terminate your attorney at any time. Even though the contract is not dated, if you signed it then the contract will be valid I am afraid as long as it describes the service he would provide for you. You can also be liable to him to pay him for whatever work he has actually done on the case and he can place a lien on your workers compensation case to get paid for that work under the equitable legal principle of "quantum meruit" which means "for the work done." The law, however, does allow ou to terminate his services if he is not performing in your best interests.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK - so since, in writing, I can prove he keeps changing his mind about what his fee will be, I can terminate him...correct? It is through e-mail.

My signature is the only one on it...nothing else. No stamp, no date, nothing...

How do I know if he will charge me a ridiculous amount for the work he has done thus far?

I have already paid out $2100.00 dollars that I wasn't supposed to pay. He changed his mind about our agreement. He actually just sent me an e-mail yesterday stating that he hasn't decided upon his fee.

Thank you for your response.

You can indeed terminate him and you need to do so with a regular letter (you can send a copy of the letter by email).

Your signature on the contract is the only one required, not his since he provided you the agreement (unless it specifically states in the contract that signatures of both parties is required). The date is not necessary as long as the services he would provide are described. No stamp is required either, just your signature.

You do not know what he will charge you for the work done, but if he does charge an unreasonable amount and your new attorney cannot negotiate it with him to something reasonable, then you file a motion to dispute the fees and the court will review the fees to determine reasonableness.

As far as him not deciding on his fee, he is supposed to inform you of his fees and his failure to do so can be a violation of the rules of professional conduct for which you can file a complaint to the state bar .
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