Writing a Good Attorney Termination Letter (with Samples) Use these sample attorney termination letters as templates for your formal termination letter. Last updated on January 15th, 2019
Many people don’t know that as a client, you have the right to terminate your current legal counsel. If you feel that they are not representing you properly, it may be in your best interests to find someone new. Many find themselves in a situation where they don’t feel their interests are being protected and they need other counsel.
To formally fire your attorney, you need to do so in an official letter. The attorney termination letter is something that needs to be straightforward. This can be sent by regular or certified mail. Address the letter formally, as you would any other letter, with your name and address, the date followed by the attorneys name and address.
Since this is a formal letter, you want to make sure to have an official salutation and address it to them directly. Don’t put something like “to whom it may concern,” rather address the opening statement with “Dear.” There should also be a subject line so that the reason for the letter is clearly stated. In this type of letter, the first paragraph should be reserved for getting right to business. State that you want to fire the attorney and why. This type of letter can be used by the attorney for further development and growth. Name the reasons why you want to fire their firm, don’t beat around the bush. Use the first paragraph to also thank them for what they have done and the good things, if any, that they did accomplish. If you have a specific grievance, like being overcharged, state it.
If the attorney has done something wrong in the case, they need to know exactly what they have done so they can avoid this situation in the future. If you are not 100% sure about firing your attorney, you need to schedule a meeting and discuss your concerns before drafting a letter of this nature. Make sure you have other counsel and this is what you want to do, as this letter tends to be final contact in the relationship between the lawyer and client.
State Why You Are Upset
The second paragraph needs to mostly explain what went wrong with their services. This letter is meant to be blunt, but not nasty in nature. If you have a big issue that need the attention of the local Bar Association, which should be taken up with them and not on this letter. Don’t be afraid to state why you are upset, but don’t drag on or be unprofessional.
Get a Copy of Your Case File
The third paragraph should be thanking them for the time they did spend on the case and asking them for a copy of your case file. You do have the right for all the paperwork that was done on the case. They can send it straight to your new law firm at your request. Also address the final billing and where to send any invoices. While it may be tempting to rant a bit, keep the letter to the point and short.
Sample 1 - Attorney Termination Letter Lisa Carney 1279 Oakbrook Drive. Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
DATE Lori Silcott 20 N. Ohio Ave. Wellston, Ohio 45692
Re: Termination Letter
Dear Ms. Silcott;
I would like to terminate the legal relationship that we have as I have obtained other counsel. I appreciate the long hours and hard work that has gone into this extensive custody case. As with many custody cases, they are long and drawn out and very costly. When I retained your counsel, I paid $2,500. This money seemed to have gone very quickly and within two months I was required to add an additional $2,000 to my account.
You have been my attorney for more than eight months and to date I have spent around $7,000 and still have seen little progress. I have called the office many times to speak to you and instead speak to a paralegal. You never return my phones calls, your late to court and you seem completely uninvolved in this case.
Due to my desire to protect my children and their current home life, I felt it necessary to obtain counsel that would fight for my desires. If you could be so kind, please send a copy of my file to Barrow Law Firm, 123 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43123. The final bill for you services can be sent to my address above.
Lisa A. Carney
Sample 2 - Attorney Termination Letter Jane Doe 123 Anywhere Drive Dixon, IL 61021
DATE Michael Landis 467 N. Westbrook Ave. Dixon, IL 61021
Re: Termination Letter
Dear Mr. Landis,
I would like to immediately terminate our legal relationship and attorney-client contract since I have obtained other legal counsel. I sincerely appreciate the hard work and many hours that went into my custody case. Like many other custody cases, they are often long, drawn out, and expensive.
When I initially retained your legal counsel, I submitted $3,000. This large sum of money seemed to go rather quickly over the course of just six weeks. Recently, I was asked to add another $1,500 to my overall account.
You have served as my attorney for nearly nine months and I have seen very little progress and spent almost $5,000. I have tried to reach you at your office numerous times to speak with your directly. Instead, I only speak to your paralegal. You appear to be uninterested in my case since you’re always late to court and never return my calls.
Because of my intense desire and need to protect my children as well as their current lifestyle, I felt compelled to hire legal counsel that’s a better fit for what I need. If you would, please send a copy of my legal file at your earliest convenience to Winchester & Griffin Law Firm, 321 North High Street, Dixon, IL 61021. Send the final bill for your services to my address listed above. Thank you kindly for your services.