Visitor Question

Can a Personal Injury Attorney Quit a Case After 5 Years?

Submitted By: Lisa (Buffalo, NY)

I have a relatively straightforward question: Does a New York State attorney have the right to resign from a 5 year old case? What would happen to a personal injury case if the attorney resigned?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Lisa,

Your question has several answers. If your attorney had filed a lawsuit within the 5 year period and the case has not yet been dismissed the attorney can not unilaterally resign from the case. To resign she will have to request permission from the Judge who is presently presiding in the court in which the lawsuit was originally filed.

In that case the attorney would have to file a Motion to Withdraw from your representation. You should receive a copy of the Motion, and in most cases there will be a hearing. You may appear at the hearing and explain to the Judge your reasons for not wanting your attorney to resign. After hearing your reasons as well as the attorney’s the Judge will decide in your favor or in hers.

If the attorney is permitted by the court to resign, the case will still be pending. At that time you will be free to seek representation from another attorney. If the Judge permitted the attorney to resign then within a matter of days the attorney should turn over to you the contents of your file. If she doesn’t you should request it in writing. You will need the file’s contents when seeking new representation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 11, 2017

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