And, if a client wants to get rid of an attorney because the attorney does not respond to his phone calls and letters, in other words, the client no longer trusts his own attorney to represent his interests in court, the client has an absolute right to get rid of that attorney.
And, in any case, a client must have an absolute right to self-representation.
Not in the blessed State of New York.
There, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, while "not opposing" a motion of a civilly committed man to either change his assigned counsel because he did not file a petition on his behalf and did not respond to his letters and phone calls, still asked the court to "search the record and case law" in order to respond to the man's request.
And boy did the judge do that.
After doing that, the judge came up with these two "rules":
- the man did not show "good cause" to fire his own counsel whom he no longer trusted;
- the man, being a civilly committed individual, was not entitled to represent himself.
- ordered a man civilly committed (locked up without a criminal sentence);
- assigns to that obviously indigent man an attorney that the man claims does not do his job - by the interesting name of Coffin, no offense;
- and now denies the man the right to replace or straight-out get rid of government-assigned representation and to represent himself.