Properly withdrawing from representation pursuant to applicable rules, ethics opinions and case law can reduce the risk of a legal malpractice claim. On November 1, 2018, California’s revised Rules of Professional Conduct will become effective, and the current Rule 3-700 governing withdrawal will be replaced with new Rule 1.16.
A lawyer must take “reasonable steps” to avoid prejudice to the client when withdrawing from representation, provide sufficient notice to the client, and seek permission, as appropriate, if the matter is before a tribunal. When seeking permission to withdraw, the attorney must avoid disclosing confidential client information. COPRAC Form. Opn. 2015-192, citing Cal. Rules of Prof. Cond., Rule 3-100; Cal. Bus & Prof. Code § 6068(e).
You can learn more on these new rules in my latest article for the San Diego County Bar Association.