I Can No Longer Afford To Pay My Lawyer

Question: What happens if I can no longer afford to pay for lawyers in a civil suit?

It depends on the kind of suit. If it is the defense of a suit filed  against you, or another kind of suit where there is little to no chance  of recovering fees, the attorneys will most likely stop their  representation of you.

If  there is a chance for recovery of fees against the opposing party, the  attorneys might be willing to continue, but probably not. If that had  been the situation the attorneys would have taken the case on a  contingent fee basis in the first place. The attorneys might be willing  to work out a payment plan, so that is something you can discuss with  them.

But  in the end, what it comes down to, is that the attorneys will not  continue their representation of you if there is little chance that they  will ever be paid for their continuing efforts.

If you cannot pay, your lawyers will notify the judge of your inability to  pay and seek permission to  withdraw, which will, barring extraordinary  exceptions (not generally  applicable in a civil case), be granted. You can then seek to continue on your own or perhaps try to settle the case  if that is a possibility for you.

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