So I know of this federal white collar criminal case, where a husband has been arrested by the FBI for misappropriation of Trade Secrets. A lawyer was quickly retained as a place holder to represent the husband until a more experience and better lawyer was found. The family was not satisfied with the lawyer, therefore they emailed the lawyer to terminate him. The lawyer, being a rather 'uncivilized' guy, demanded to file a court date for the husband to explain why the lawyer was terminated and when he would retain a new lawyer, thereby scamming more money from the family.

My question is are lawyers allowed to do anything, specifically to file a court date, AFTER they have been notified for termination?

A second question, on a less related note, are inmates allowed to have a period of time where they have no lawyer representation? As in, the period where the defendant is in between lawyers.

My apologies if anything doesn't make sense, I am only a high school student attempting to help a family. Would the stack exchange community be able to assist me with this?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


A lawyer is not officially terminated once appearing in a court case until a court has granted a withdrawal from representation to the lawyer and the lawyer must do everything necessary to represent the client as well as possible until then. The lawyer failing to withdraw could have been participating in misconduct if the lawyer fails to seek withdrawal after an unequivocal termination of the representation, or for taking actions that aren't necessary at that time contrary to a client's wishes. If court rules require a lawyer to set a court date by a certain time and the current lawyer has not yet had a withdrawal approved by a court it may be necessary for the lawyer to do so despite the client's wishes.

An incarcerated person who is not indigent or who knowingly waives a right to a lawyer can be unrepresented while incarcerated.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. To clarify, the court has not requested a court date, therefore it is not required. The attorney wants to set up a court date against the client's wishes, when the court has still not approved the withdrawal, so it can be considered as misconduct? The client has told the attorney repeatedly to not file said court date, however the lawyer insists and does so very rudely. Did I get that right? I just want to make sure before passing on the information. Thank you so much.
    – user14142
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 23:23
  • Even if it is misconduct, it has no affect on the criminal case. That would just mean that the defendant could grieve his attorney with attorney regulation officials possibly resulting in a professional discipline sanction for the attorney, not any benefit for the client.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 23:26
  • Even though there aren't any visible benefits to the client, I'm sure the clients would be happy to know of any disciplinary actions against that attorney. Thank you once again.
    – user14142
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 23:45

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