You may need to change attorneys for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the cause, you must formally notify your attorney that you no longer require his or her services and that he or she does not work for you any longer.
To do this, edit the items in [brackets] in the letter below to suit your particular circumstances, then send it to your attorney by certified mail with return receipt requested.
If you and the soon to be ex-attorney are scheduled for a court appearance, you may want to consider releasing them in front of the judge to ensure that the termination of services is on the official record. At a proper time, tell the judge that you are terminating the attorney of record at this time. Simultaneously hand the attorney a copy the Release Of Legal Counsel letter. This may prevent an attorney from "working" on the case (and effectively destroying it) after they have been officially terminated. Anything the attorney does after being terminated in front of the judge can be refuted or disavowed, especially since the termination will be on the record. Legally, the moment they are informed of the termination they are prohibited from doing anything further regarding your case.
NOTICE OF RELEASE OF LEGAL COUNSEL
Month, Day, 20XX
Office of [Attorney's Office]
City, State, Zip
To [Attorney Name]
[Mr./Ms.] [Attorney Name] Please accept this letter as formal notice that you are hereby released from any obligation and or contract to litigate on my behalf or to represent me as legal counsel, effective immediately.
Please forward to me a final accounting of fees along with any and all records, transcripts, and documents relating to my case. (You may instead want your case materials to be forwarded to another attorney, if you have one.)
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact me at once.
City, State, Zip
Phone and FAX Number(s)