top of page
  • Writer's pictureJudith Gracey

Signs that It's Time to Get a New Lawyer

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

You simply can’t afford a bad lawyer. When it comes to picking a lawyer, your future is not to be taken lightly. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. If you’ve been having second thoughts about your current attorney, here are 7 clues that it’s time to get a new lawyer.

7. They Aren’t Respected By Their Peers

If your attorney isn’t well respected by their peers (fellow lawyers) as well as courtroom personnel, it’s definitely a red flag. While being “liked” by others is not the foremost consideration, an attorney that has good relationships with the rest of the legal community certainly offers its advantages. Especially in court, a strong connection with judges and courtroom employees can help influence the final decision. There is often a concrete, reasonable explanation as to why an attorney doesn’t have the best relationships with their peers. If you, fellow lawyers, and courtroom personnel all don’t respect your attorney, there’s a good chance that the judge and jury will feel the same way.

6. They Don’t Seem to Care About You

Rule #1 of an attorney: Care for your clients. A lawyer who empathizes with you will be able to best represent you in court because they best understand your situation, needs, and desired outcome. On the other hand, if your lawyer doesn’t care for you, it’s unlikely that they will be motivated to invest the time, resources, and energy necessary into your case to represent you properly. Ask yourself, if your lawyer doesn’t care for you, is there another underlying reason why they took on your case? Is it for the fame or the money? Your attorney shouldn’t see you as just a cash cow.

5. They Have Bad Billing Behavior

Whether it’s a lack of communicating clear billing guidelines or simply dishonest billing, beware. Good attorneys bill honestly and fairly. Be sure to thoroughly and diligently review your billable statements and communicate your questions or grievances accordingly. If your attorney is unable to give you a satisfactory answer as to why you may have been over billed, it may be time to look elsewhere for legal support.

4. They Aren’t Interested/Enthusiastic About Your Case

It goes without saying: your lawyer needs to convince the judge to act in your favor. If they themselves aren’t even interested, the likelihood that they’ll be able to make a jury and/or judge believe their argument is very low. Their lack of interest will only reflect poorly on your case.

3. Lack of Communication

The legal process can be long and frustrating, your attorney is supposed to help you along the way, not add to your annoyance. If you find yourself calling your attorney’s office without a prompt response (generally 24-48 hours), take it as a warning sign. However, don’t rush to assume intentional ignorance of your messages. It’s important to understand the method of communication that works best for both you and your attorney. Finding the right one (whether it be call, text, email, social media) and establishing clear, consistent guidelines around communication may be the remedy for your problem.

2. They Don’t Have a Plan

It’s unrealistic to expect constant, rapid progress on a case. There are times cases can drag on for years due to legal complications. With that being said, It’s one thing to deal with legal obstacles and it’s one thing to do nothing about it. Your attorney should still have a concrete plan as to what the appropriate next steps are, even during those quiet times. Don’t keep on waiting for results while you’re being billed with no clear plan or progress shown. Your attorney should be communicating the progress made on the case and realistic expectations for you.

1.They’re Acting Illegally

No one is above the law. If your attorney exhibits unethical or illegal behavior, this can easily land you in hot water. Not only can this doom your case, but it could lead to further charges of perjury, a mistrial, your attorney getting disbarred, and much more. Illegal means goes against the very purpose of a court of law.

If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of hiring a lawyer that exhibits one or a few of the telltale signs above…..the question is: Now what do I do?

First things first, don’t panic. Understand that you’ve already taken a beneficial step to recognize your current legal situation. As far as next steps go, you have a few options.

Communicate your concerns to your attorney

When to Choose: This is probably a sound first step to take so that you can be confident in your final decision of either keeping your attorney on or firing him/her.

Ask another attorney for a second opinion

When to Choose:

You’re having serious doubts about the competency of your attorney.


Can help you decide if it’s the right decision to fire your attorney or not. They may also give you more information on your case and advise you in the right direction of what should be done differently.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Bring all relevant evidence needed when asking for a second opinion, and be sure to provide a thorough picture of the case. However, each attorney handles cases differently, so keep in mind individual attorney biases along the way and consider all the options to determine what’s best for you.

Sue for malpractice

When to Choose:

You’ve gotten a second opinion and you have ample evidence of illegal/unethical behavior or misconduct during your case. You must be able to prove that your attorney made mistakes during the course of the case, that without, you would have won your case.

Things to Keep in Mind:

If you decide to sue, sue quickly as the defense may argue that you waited too long to sue. Malpractice suits are also often quite costly, so be sure there is enough potential financial compensation in the first place.

Hire a new lawyer

When to Choose:

You’ve done sufficient research/consideration on your decision and have communicated your concerns to your attorney beforehand to no avail (or not to your satisfaction). You have a right to competent, ethical legal support.

Things to Keep in Mind:

A new attorney could be relatively more expensive than your past attorney as you will have to catch them up to speed on your case. This cost depends on the progress made on your case as well as your case timeline.

Don’t Settle for a Bad Lawyer…...Choose The Gracey Law Firm.

At The Gracey Law Firm, we’re here for you.

With over 30 years of legal experience ranging from criminal defense to personal injury and more, we provide the empathetic, candid, and knowledgeable advice you need and deserve. We will devote our time and energy to addressing the complex issues that arise. We approach every case using a step-by-step informational approach to guide you through this process, providing personalized support every step of the way.

Serving clients throughout Michigan, Attorney Gracey’s active trial practice centers on aggressively defending people accused of committing crimes at the federal and state levels.

Don’t hesitate to call (248)-221-7726 for a free initial phone consultation. Learn more at:

4 views0 comments


bottom of page