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Empowering Client Choice

As a client, you have the right to change attorneys if you believe it's in your best interest. Most contracts allow clients to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time, although you may still be responsible for fees incurred up to that point.

Firing your attorney can be challenging, but sometimes, ensuring your legal matters are handled effectively is necessary. In this guide, we'll discuss the steps to fire your attorney and why choosing the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff might be the right decision for you.

Reasons Why You Might Need to Fire Your Attorney

Lack of Communication

Effective communication between you and your attorney is crucial for a successful legal representation. If your attorney is unresponsive to your calls or emails, fails to keep you updated on the progress of your case, or doesn't address your concerns promptly, it can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.

Incompetence or Inexperience

Your attorney should have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to handle your legal matter effectively. If you believe that your attorney lacks competence in the relevant area of law, makes frequent mistakes, or demonstrates a lack of understanding of your case, it may be a red flag that you need a new attorney.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest can arise if your attorney has a personal or professional relationship that interferes with their ability to represent your best interests objectively. For example, if your attorney represents another party with conflicting interests or has a financial interest in the outcome of your case, it can compromise the attorney-client relationship.

Ethical Violations

Discovering that your attorney has engaged in unethical behavior, such as dishonesty, fraud, or breach of confidentiality, can severely undermine your trust and confidence in their representation. Ethical violations can also lead to disciplinary actions by legal authorities.

Missed Deadlines or Court Appearances

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of timeliness in legal proceedings. If your attorney consistently misses deadlines, fails to attend court hearings or meetings, or neglects essential aspects of your case, it can harm your legal standing and jeopardize the outcome of your case.

Differences in Legal Strategy

You and your attorney should be aligned regarding your case's legal strategy and approach. If you disagree with your attorney's tactics, decisions, or settlement negotiations, and efforts to resolve these differences are unsuccessful, there may be a fundamental mismatch in expectations and necessitate a change in representation.

Billing Disputes

Transparent and fair billing practices are essential for maintaining trust in the attorney-client relationship. If you encounter billing discrepancies, unauthorized charges, or disputes over fees that cannot be resolved amicably, it can strain the relationship and lead to a breakdown in communication and trust.

Client meeting with their lawyer

Steps to Firing Your Attorney in New York

  1. Evaluate Your Reasons
    Before taking action, consider why you want to fire your attorney. Document any issues or concerns you've encountered, such as lack of communication, missed deadlines, or disagreements about strategy.
  2. Consult with Another Attorney
    We advise consulting with a new attorney before terminating your current one. They can provide guidance on the process and assess the status of your case.
  3. Notify Your Attorney
    Inform your current attorney of your decision to terminate the relationship. Send a written letter or email clearly stating that you are ending their representation and requesting any necessary documents or files related to your case.
  4. Review Your Case File
    Obtain a copy of your case file from your current attorney. This includes important documents, correspondence, and evidence related to your legal matter.
  5. Notify Relevant Parties
    Inform any relevant parties, such as the court, opposing counsel, or third parties, of the change in representation. Provide contact information for your new attorney, if applicable.
  6. Settle Financial Obligations
    Resolve any outstanding financial obligations with your current attorney. This may include paying for services rendered or negotiating fees if there are disputes.
  7. Transition to New Representation
    Once you have secured new legal representation, work closely with your new attorney to transfer your case smoothly. Provide them with all relevant information and cooperate during the transition process.

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Protecting You from Fraudulent Immigration Legal Services

At the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, we stand alongside the Manhattan District Attorney's Immigrant Affairs Unit in condemning fraudulent practices that exploit vulnerable immigrants seeking legal assistance. The recent indictment of Pablo Israel Ortega Cuenca underscores the importance of caution when seeking legal services, especially in immigration matters.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. has announced the indictment of PABLO ISRAEL ORTEGA CUENCA, 33, for posing as an immigration attorney and defrauding numerous people by collecting thousands of dollars in legal fees. CUENCA faces charges in a New York State Supreme Court indictment, including:

  • Two counts of Immigrant Assistance Services in the First Degree
  • Two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree
  • One count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree

More details include the following:

  • According to court documents and statements, CUENCA deceived clients from February 2017 until at least October 2019 by misrepresenting his professional status and the fees required for immigration applications
  • He provided misleading advice, including advising an individual to submit a meritless asylum claim and failing to file applications or communicate court dates
  • CUENCA falsely presented himself as an immigration attorney, as well as an employee of the Spanish Consulate or a government immigration official, ultimately collecting over $11,000 in legal fees from multiple individuals

Resources for Victims of Immigration Legal Fraud

The Manhattan D.A.’s Immigrant Affairs Unit encourages all victims of immigration fraud to come forward. It offers support through its Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, Emely Salazar Perez, who focuses on community outreach and providing immigrants with resources to ease their transition into Manhattan. 

You can contact the Manhattan District Attorney's Immigration Affairs Unit hotline at 212-335-3600 or via WhatsApp at 347-371-0877. Interpreters are available to assist non-native English speakers, and your immigration status will not affect your ability to seek help.

The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff is here to advocate for justice and protect the rights of all individuals, regardless of immigration status. Our experienced legal team offers guidance, support, and legal representation to those affected by fraudulent practices. Together, we can work towards a fair and just legal system for all.

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