Mediation is generally a last ditch effort to settle a case before the trial date, and it’s usually ordered by the courts. Parties in a lawsuit can also volunteer to mediate their case and try to work out their differences with help from a certified mediator.
You walk into the process with high hopes, as you’ve probably been told ahead of time that mediation is highly effective, with a success rate of around 95%. But as the meeting goes on, you get the feeling that things are not going as planned. Before you know it, you’ve hit a brick wall, and it’s obvious that a settlement is not going to happen.
So, what happens now? Is going to trial the only option? You are scared, confused, and angry, and there’s at least a small part of you that blames your lawyer for their failure to negotiate your settlement. Maybe there have been problems between you and your lawyer all along, but you stuck it out because you didn’t want to cause any unnecessary delays. But now, you’re starting to regret that decision and find yourself asking, “Can I get another lawyer after mediation, or is it too late to find a new law firm?”
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Can I Fire my Lawyer if My Case Went to Mediation?
The short answer to this question is yes, considering there are no laws to prevent you from switching lawyers at any point during a personal injury lawsuit. But you should honestly examine the reasons as to why you want a new attorney and ensure that chaining counsel is truly in your best interest. Furthermore, you must consider how your attorney has handled other aspects of your case. If this was their first notable failure, perhaps they should be given another chance. Last but not least, you must weigh the pros and cons of continuing your lawsuit with a new lawyer, given how far along you are in the legal process.
Is My Lawyer to Blame for the Mediation Failing?
It’s important to answer this question honestly, as many clients are eager to put the blame on someone when things don’t go their way during mediation. Frankly, it’s possible that your lawyer did everything they could to achieve a fair settlement on your behalf. On the other hand, a lawyer may let their greed and ambitions get ahead of the client’s needs. Perhaps your attorney was overly demanding and aggressive, and this is why things fell apart at your mediation.
Alternatively, your attorney may be lacking in experience with the issues in your case. They may also be disorganized or overwhelmed by their case load, meaning they were unprepared for this all this important meeting. This is not a lawyer that you want to continue working with, especially if you intend on taking your case to trial.
These are just some of the reasons to start over with a new lawyer, though you should always discuss your available legal options before making such an important decision. During a free second opinion consultation, we can help you understand the issues that caused your mediation to be unsuccessful. If your lawyer is to blame, we can assist you with the option of switching lawyers and continuing your case with us. However, that decision is completely up to you, and the second opinion is free of charge no matter which road you choose.
Valid Reasons to Change Lawyers When You have an Active Lawsuit
The possibility of switching lawyers is always there for you, but it’s not something you should do on a whim. As we’ve mentioned, you should carefully consider the issues that are bothering you about your lawyer, aside from what happened at mediation. Signs that it may be time to look for a new law firm include:
Your calls or emails go ignored, or it takes a week or more to hear back from your lawyer (lack of communication).
Your lawyer has a habit of misplacing paperwork, missing deadlines, and being unprepared for meetings.
They don’t seem knowledgeable enough about the issues in your case.
You don’t sense that your lawyer is truly invested in your case (lack of caring and dedication).
Your lawyer is committing ethics violations, such as violating your right to confidentiality, not telling you about settlement offers from the defendant.
Free Second Opinion
So, now that you have a sense of valid concerns that merit a change in counsel, you are probably left with confusion and doubt as to whether you should fire your attorney. This is perfectly normal, and in fact, we would recommend that you seek independent counsel prior to making this type of decision.
This is why we provide free second opinions to anyone that has an existing injury claim or lawsuit. That way, you can get an objective review of how things are going in your case and make an informed choice on what to do if it’s clear that your attorney is the problem. If you are interested in a second opinion from one of our attorneys, simply reach out to us at our office.
Contact the Legal Team of DTLA Law Group
There are no guarantees in life, and it’s easy to make choices that don’t work out. This is frustrating and perhaps heartbreaking when you have an accident injury claim that has failed to settle before the trial date. If you believe that your lawyer dropped the ball on your case and that’s why your mediation was unsuccessful, you always have the option of finding a new lawyer under California law.
Our goal is to help you make the best possible choice, whether it be staying with your current law firm or continuing your lawsuit with us. If you decide to switch over to our law firm, we will take care of every step in the transfer process, including contacting the courts and working out a fee agreement with your current attorney. We will do this at no cost to you under the terms of the Zero Fee Guarantee.
Once you are with us, you will continue to receive free legal services for the entire duration of your lawsuit. Our payment is recovered only if we succeed in bringing you payment from the negligent party. If not, you won’t be responsible for any legal fees, even if your case is brought before a judge and jury.
If you’re frustrated with the ways things are going in your case, give us a call anytime, as we are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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