Substitution Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Substitution, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Substitution?

(n). Substitution is the reliving of an attorney from a trial for what ever reason and selection of a new attorney to replace him to continue the trial in that court, by filing a written statement in that court. The new attorney is known as substitution.

History and Meaning of Substitution

Substitution is a common term used in the legal field that refers to the replacement of an attorney by another attorney in a trial or legal matter. The process of substitution is typically initiated by the attorney, who submits a written statement to the court explaining their reasons for leaving the case and requesting to be replaced. This may occur due to a conflict of interest, a change in the client's needs, or other unforeseen circumstances.

In some cases, substitution may be mandatory or involuntary, such as when an attorney is disbarred, becomes ill, or passes away. Substitution can also occur in a class action lawsuit where a plaintiff is selected to represent a group of plaintiffs and decides to step down from their role. Whatever the reason, a substitution allows the legal proceedings to continue without interruption, ensuring that the client's interests are properly represented.

Examples of Substitution

  1. A criminal defendant chooses to replace their court-appointed attorney with a private attorney who they believe is better equipped to represent them.
  2. An attorney is forced to withdraw from a case due to a conflict of interest, and another attorney is selected to take their place.
  3. A plaintiff in a class action lawsuit steps down and selects a new representative to take their place.

Legal Terms Similar to Substitution

  1. Disbarment: The removal of an attorney's license to practice law
  2. Withdrawal: The voluntary removal of an attorney from a legal case
  3. Appointment: The selection of an attorney to represent a client in a legal matter.