When a business finds out that a client or visitor intends to sue, it may scramble to hire a lawyer as quickly as possible to resolve the matter. Sometimes, businesses fail to perform the necessary due diligence to hire the best lawyer and simply rush to secure any insurance defense representation they can or someone the business owner is familiar with.
Some people presume that any licensed professional is as good as the next, but that is not the case when defending against a potentially expensive legal claim. You may realize that your lawyer is unfamiliar with this kind of litigation, or you may realize that they have a conflict of interest because of one of their other clients. Maybe you feel strongly that your lawyer has not done everything possible to protect your business in court.
What happens when you switch attorneys mid-litigation?
You need someone to hit the ground running
It is true that the courts want you to have appropriate representation and adequate advice on legal matters. In some cases, you may be able to temporarily delay an upcoming hearing when you switch attorneys while responding to a potentially expensive insurance claim.
However, even if the courts do give you a little extra time, you still have to feel confident that the attorney you retain can bring themselves up to speed on the case quickly. Ideally, you will pick a new lawyer who specializes in insurance defense so that you don’t have to question whether their advice is appropriate given the situation.
You may need to adjust your legal strategy
One of the most difficult aspects of switching to a new attorney will be adjusting to their perspective. The best defense will depend on the details of the case. You may have evidence to counter claims that your employees were negligent or that there were issues with your facilities. Security camera footage, work records affirming maintenance and cleaning done by workers, and even employee or witness testimony can help you fight back against expensive insurance claims.
Your lawyer may recommend that you pursue a completely different defense strategy. You may need to find new witnesses or experts or file new paperwork with the courts. It is important that those trying to upgrade legal representation in the middle of an insurance defense scenario understand that drastic changes to the strategy previously employed may be necessary to secure a successful outcome.
Properly communicating with your current attorney and ensuring that you have a new lawyer willing to take on your case before letting them go can be important for your protection in a civil litigation matter. Realizing you can and possibly should change attorneys during litigation can help protect you from an expensive insurance claim.