Under California law, a client has the right to fire his or her attorney at any time. A client can change lawyers whenever the client loses confidence in either the integrity or the judgment or the capacity of the attorney.
A discharged attorney has the right to assert a lien for attorney’s fees and costs against a later settlement. The discharged attorney is entitled to receive no more than the reasonable value of the attorney’s services up to the time of discharge. The discharged attorney shares the total contingent fee earned with successor counsel, as there may only be a single contingent fee. The attorneys must work together in coming up with how they will share the contingency fee.