Why would an attorney withdraw from representing a client? There are many reasons limited only by the number of reasons relationships go sour. Yes, sometimes the dispute is over money. The client may not be paying the fee originally agreed to, or in the manner and time desired. But often that is not the reason. Unfortunately, that reason gets all of the attention, because it is the best way to protect the client. In other words, if a lawyer withdraws from a case, isn’t it better for the world, and the court to believe that it was a simple dispute about money, instead of one of the many other reasons? What other reasons? How about a client that refuses to tell the truth? Or a client who curses at an attorney or his or her staff. In these types of situations, a professional attorney will not disclose why they are withdrawing because to do so would create a negative impact on the client’s case. For instance, if it is a custody dispute and the client is accused of not being able to cooperate with his or her spouse, wouldn’t it severely hurt the client’s case if the lawyer’s grounds for withdrawal were “non-cooperation of client”?
Sometime lawyers become the “fall guy(s)”. That is okay. If my client’s spouse wishes to hate me instead of their spouse, that is probably better for their children. Even if I am urging my client to cooperate, the other side often thinks I am telling my client not to cooperate. But if I set the record straight, my client, and maybe the children, may suffer. So who will know when a lawyer is telling his or her client to do the right thing? The lawyer and the client. And if the client doesn’t follow the lawyer’s advice, or doesn’t cooperate with the attorney, the lawyer will often withdraw from representation. Hopefully this is a last resort, but no client should be forced to work with a lawyer they do not want to work with, and vice versa. This also then frees the lawyer to devote more time to the clients who he or she works well with and for and who deserve nothing but the full attention of, and best and undistracted efforts of their lawyer.