What To Do If You Have Decided To Resign?

Attorneys are free to resign at any point for any reason. However, you need to take steps to meet legal obligations before you resign. Here are some questions to consider when you have decided to resign.


Can I Resign When I am Under the Enduring Power of Attorney?

The short answer is yes. This happens typically when the attorney has moved away or has become sick and can no longer effectively care for the person.

The first thing to do is to put the resignation in writing. This is called a Notice of Resignation. This document should be delivered to specific people in a specific way.

The signed and dated copies of the Notice of Resignation should be delivered to:

    • the adult;
    • all other attorneys mentioned in the Enduring Power of Attorney;
    • if the adult is incapable, the Notice of Resignation should be given to the spouse, close relative or a friend of the adult.

The copy of the Notice of Resignation should also be delivered to any other third party, for example, to the bank of Credit Union or other financial services or the Land Title office.

You can use wording like this:

I, __________________ [insert your name], revoke the power of attorney that I made on ___________ [insert date power of attorney was signed] that appointed the following people ________________ [insert name of your attorney(s)] as my attorneys.
Date: _____________________
Signature: _________________
Sign and date the Notice of Revocation.

Can I Resign in the Middle of the Case?

An attorney can resign in the middle of the case either for “mandatory” or “voluntary” reasons.
“Mandatory” reasons require that the circumstances demand that an attorney resigns in the middle of the case. Such reasons may include: 

    • the attorney is not competent;
    • the attorney becomes a crucial witness;
    • the attorney finds out that the client uses his or her service for criminal purposes;
    • there is a conflict of interest;
    • the client terminates the attorney’s services.

When the circumstances do not require, an attorney may cease representation on voluntary reasons such as:

    • the client refuses to pay;
    • the client fails to follow the attorney’s advice;
    • the client is engaged in fraudulent conduct;
    • there is a breakthrough in the attorney-client relationship.

In any case, an attorney must first seek and obtain the court’s permission before ending representation in the middle of a case.


What If You Have Decided To Resign Altogether?

If you have decided to retire or resign from the practice of law altogether, you should consider this. Retirement or resignation from the practice of law can be final and irrevocable. In Ohio, for example, you cannot practice law anymore once your retirement or resignation application is accepted by the Supreme Court of Ohio. If you are not final in your decision, consider registering for inactive status.

If you are still eligible to practice law, we have good news for you. You can still practice law and be flexible in your schedule. You can take court appearance jobs with AppearMe, a web, and mobile app. If you act fast when the request for a court appearance is posted, you can earn up to $200 in a day. Sign up to AppearMe or contact us for more details.


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