Other Potential Consequences
In the context of a Social Security Disability claim, your representative is entitled to a fee for services rendered up to the point of the discharge. A discharged representative can file a form with the SSA called a fee petition, itemize the hours spent and tasks performed, and ask for authorization to charge a fee. The SSA will (eventually) authorize some fee. I have seen ridiculous fees cut to almost zero, and fees approved up to thousands of dollars (example: think firing a lawyer the day after your hearing when you think you will win…not a good move).
Consider that as an attorney taking over a case, one thing I look for is the presence of prior counsel, what work they did, and if they have waived a fee or filed a fee petition. If I have to file a fee petition, that can take hours of my time AFTER the case is won and I cannot charge for those hours. In candor, the presence of a fee petition is a factor in my decision as to whether to accept a case as successor counsel.
– Multiple Prior Attorneys
So you fire attorney A, now you have to go find and hire attorney B. Will that be a problem? Do you really want to go to a hearing alone?
Maybe your prior attorney was difficult as a person, maybe you could not communicate with him/her as often as you wish, or maybe he or she just saw the medical proof differently. The presence of one prior representative is one thing. The presence of multiple prior representatives on the same case can be seen as a red flag. Maybe the problem is the case is not very good on the medical merits and the client refuses to understand this; you as the client are difficult (rare but it happens),…. Whatever the reason(s), potential successor counsel will consider the presence of prior reps in his or her decision whether to take your case.
– Massive Case File – Somebody has to read it
Your case likely has a case file or at least some paperwork associated with it. We always burn the clients a disc with the case records. I can tell you from experience if you as a potential client bring in a large plastic tub of disheveled, unorganized records, I am less likely to take your case. I will have to spend hours to review and organize things BEFORE I can even make a decision as to whether I will take your case. I have to figure out what was done and when, then review all this on the merits and compare the paper trail to what you tell me. I usually have to scan the stuff to submit it…
True Story: I even had one client whose tub or records was kept in a basement or garage on the floor and was full of some tiny bugs… I had bites all over me, threw out the clothes I had on that day, and had to have the office treated (Yes I won that case! I had to spend spent hours categorizing, identifying and itemizing his records- we got 33 medical submissions out of that tub… sometimes you just have to put in the time for a worthy client). Life happens and we learn over time… now I spray down all tubs 24 hours BEFORE I rummage through them.