Everything You Should Know About Special Appearances & Withdrawal of an Attorney

You may have heard of special appearances, but you may seldom used the services of special appearance attorney. This is unfortunate because these professionals are sometimes a major asset to law firms who can’t handle all cases and appear to all hearings. Special appearances have become a major part of a legal business. Instead of withdrawing from a case, you hire a court appearance attorney and keep on working on the same case while turning to help when a need comes. Moreoever, you can refer a case and earn a referral fee without even thinking of complete withdrawal.

Attorneys for Special Appearances: Who Are They and When to Turn to Them?

If you have too much on your schedule or have a conflicting court date, you may hire a special appearance attorney or, called otherwise, an attorney on demand. You can turn to the help of these specialists when things get out of control, or you just don’t want to travel a long way to the courthouse and back. These attorneys perform only specific tasks. They don’t get control over the whole case and appear to the hearings only for a specific purpose as assigned by the attorney of record.

Special Appearances: Responsibilities of Special Appearance Attorneys

Basically, special appearance attorneys have two primary responsibilities – to appear to court in time and cover the hearing and to submit a report on the assignment.

The biggest legal duty of an appearance attorney is to show up in court on the set time and date. They are responsible only for the hearing on that date and time. This attorney needs to establish rapport with your client as well as know how to deal with judges and other court professionals.

When an appearance attorney covers the hearing, his/her next duty is to submit a brief report on the assignment. Usually, the attorney of record pays the appearance attorney only after the latter submits the report.

Attorney Withdrawal

Sometimes things get so tough that even with the help of other attorneys you can’t handle the case. In this case, an attorney may decide to withdraw from the case altogether. However, it’s harder with attorney withdrawal than assigning specific tasks to other attorneys. You must have valid reasons to withdraw from the case. For example, under ABA Model Rule 1.16(b), a lawyer shall not affect adversely on the client’s interest when withdrawing from a case without a cause.

Commonly accepted reasons for attorney withdrawal are:

  • Failure to pay attorneys’ fees.
  • Conflicting case strategies.
  • Criminal, unethical, or fraudulent activity by the client.
  • Client’s failure to fulfill obligations.
  • Client consent.
  • Personality conflicts.

In any case, the Restatement of Law Governing Lawyers says that the harm caused by a lawyer’s withdrawal may never be disproportionately greater to the client that the harm if the lawyer keeps on handling the case.

Case Referrals Maybe a Solution

Instead of withdrawing completely, you may think of referring a case to another attorney and earning a referral fee. In some situations, this is the best for the client and for yourself. You may need to take joint responsibility and split the referral fee depending on state regulations. Case referrals are a solution to situations when you just cannot handle the case.

By on the Safe Side. Sign up to AppearMe!

Before you make up a serious decision like withdrawing from a case, think of joining a legal app that will help you in emergencies and even in cases when you want to refer an entire case.

Our advice is to sign up to AppearMe where you can find an attorney on demand even 10 minutes before your hearing. You don’t pay AppearMe when you refer a case and can completely control the arrangements between you and the receiving attorney. We only demand that the fees should be honored and paid in accordance to each state’s bar rules and regulations.

If you have questions, please contact us or read articles in our blog to learn why this app is a must for lawyers especially in emergencies. Call us at (888) 900-3080 or send an email to [email protected].

Leave a Reply