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What to Do When Your Client Says You Are Not His Lawyer, but You Are

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 20, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Wait, what?

Your client just said you are not his attorney, but actually you are. You are not dreaming; this is as real as it gets.

Clients, like life, will throw you a curve ball. So how are you going to take a swing at it?

"You're Fired!"

Maybe it's not right to look at President Trump for lessons in the law because he's not a lawyer. However, he has fired more attorneys as a reality TV star whose catch phrase is: "You're fired!"

Only this time, Trump has not actually fired his attorney general. He just said, "I don't have an attorney general."

For Jeff Sessions and any other lawyer, there is a rule for that kind of problem: withdraw from representation.

The key is to do it in a professional, not-on-television way. We're talking about the best way to fire a client.

Get Out Early

FindLaw writer Mark Wilson offered three tips for terminating a bad attorney-client relationship:

  • Fire the client early
  • Refer the client elsewhere
  • Get permission from the court

There is another option, but we don't always see it coming. It's not to swing at the bad ones.

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