Procedure for changing attorney
What is the procedures for changing attorney in the middle of the case?
If an advocate fails to fulfill any of the duties towards his/her client (below are mentioned the duties) or the performance of the advocate is not satisfactory to the client, the client can at any point of time prior to the ending of the case, change his pleader for any reason. Even though the client hired the services of a professional, he/she is still ultimately responsible for his/her own legal affairs, therefore he sole has the right to take any decision best suitable for his legal case. If there is reason to believe that, there is a problem, one needs to speak up and take responsibility for fixing it.
This absolute right remains even if the advocate has rendered valuable services or the client owes the advocate his fees. Although a client does not need to have a reason, common circumstances for changing an advocate include:
- An advocate’s conflict of interest
- Differing case strategies or personality conflicts
- A change in the pleadings or parties of the case
- A change of the Court hearing the case
- Expanded legal needs which the advocate fails to fulfill
When an advocate is appointed by a client for a certain case under Order 4 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 the pleader has to file to the Court a duly signed written document by the client, which is termed as a Vakalatnama. In case a client is not satisfied with the lawyer, then first, the client should discuss it with the lawyer, and resolve the issue amicably. If it is not resolved then he might ask for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) on the Vakalatnama or on other documents related to the case. This is an easier way.
But in case the advocate does not agree to give a NOC, then the person can issue a notice of termination to the advocate and apply to the court for withdrawal of Vakalatnama. Order 3 of Civil Procedure Code gives aggrieved persons the right to choose one’s pleader. Therefore changing of pleader with the leave of the Court is possible. The new pleader should submit a duly signed Vakalatnama to the court. Hence it is possible to change one’s pleader. In a few cases problem arises with the case history. If the pleader fails to give it to the client, the client can apply for the order sheet by an application to the Court.
Therefore in case the earlier lawyer refuses to give Consent or NOC, then you can engage another lawyer and file a document in writing (by the client) under Rule 4(2) of Order III of the Code of Civil Procedure for leave of court to terminate the appointment of earlier lawyer.
Though the Indian Constitution guarantees right to justice; way to justice is to be made by the person seeking justice. Hence, although the pleader is going to appear before the court the full responsibility rests on the instituting or defending the suit or criminal proceeding. Therefore, if the appointed attorney is not fulfilling the purpose then the client can at any.
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