Substitution of Attorney

Definition - What does Substitution of Attorney mean?

When a client wishes to employ a new attorney, many jurisdictions require the client to file a document explaining to the court that the substitution is taking place.

A client may fire and obtain new counsel at any time, but the substitution of attorney document helps the court and opposing counsel know who to send communications to.

Justipedia explains Substitution of Attorney

A client’s right to fire an attorney and hire a new one, at will, is a time-honored recognition that non-lawyers are vulnerable to mistreatment by lawyers due to the complexities of the practice of law. Granting the right to fire attorneys whenever a party wants is a good way to protect a party against this vulnerability.

When a party retains new counsel, a substitution of attorney document puts the court on notice that the party will be represented by a new attorney. Practically speaking, there are times when the court and opposing counsel are prohibited from contacting a represented party directly, and confusion would result without a substitution of attorney.

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