Q. My client is making unreasonable demands and I believe she cannot make rational decisions which will impact the outcome of the case. Am I allowed to withdraw from representation?
A. IRPC 1.16(b)(4) states that a lawyer may withdraw from representation if “the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement.” However, when withdrawing, a lawyer should follow 1.16(c) and (d) and must follow applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating representation and take steps to protect the client’s interests, such as allowing time to find new counsel, refunding fees, and returning files.
For more information, consult ISBA Advisory Opinion 12-10
ISBA members can browse past ISBA Ethics Opinions, access our Ethics Hotline, and other resources on the ISBA Ethics Page.
[Disclaimer. These questions are representative of calls received on the ISBA’s ethics hotline. The information provided below is meant as an educational tool to highlight potentially applicable Illinois RPC or other ethics resources that might help the lawyer answer the question posed. The information provided isn’t legal advice. Because every situation is different, often complex, and the law is constantly evolving, you shouldn’t rely upon this general information without conducting your own research.]