Question: I had my first day of my divorce trial today and my attorney was not competent at all. I dont want her representing me tomorrow. Can I fire her and ask for a continuence so that I can get proper represention at this late date or at the very least represent myself tomorrow? How do I do that?
A Client has the right to discharge their attorney at any time for any reason in most instances but there are a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is a case pending in court. If the client discharges the attorney, the attorney would have to file a motion to withdraw based upon the discharge, but s/he would be required to continue the representation until and unless the court permits the lawyer to withdraw.
If you are having problems with your attorney, you may want to contact the State Bar of Arizona Attorney Consumer Assistance Program at (602) 252-4804. However, keep in mind that contacting the State Bar does not replace the procedure regarding a motion to withdraw.
April 10, 2008