Answered on Aug 10th, 2011 at 3:43 PM
You probably can't get the first lawyer to do as you request. At most, he might withdraw but make clear that he will file a fee petition, which the rules allow.
The reason lawyers don't want to take this on is that when the case is over, and if you win, the first and second lawyer will have to file a petition to have their fee approved. The second lawyer will have taken the case not knowing how much, if any, they will be paid.
The first lawyer has done work and has time into your case. There is a quantum meruit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_meruit argument that the first lawyer can make for a portion of the fee, which to some extent, will likely be approved.
You are not without hope of finding a representative. Legal clinics through law schools or Legal Aid offices may be able to help you. They sometimes require a rejection letter of your case from several lawyers – find out if there are such requirements. Those organizations are not concerned about the fee.
When the first lawyer files a fee petition, you will have the opportunity to comment if you so choose during the fee petition process. http://ssa.gov/representation/fee_petitions.htm Good luck.
Michael J. Haller, Jr.
No attorney-client relationship has been established because of the information provided. Seek local counsel to address your particular facts. MJHJ