District Judge Michael Gibbons appointed Minden lawyer Charles Zumpft to represent Simmons at his sentencing March 12 after the 27-year-old Mammoth Lakes, Calif., man said he wanted to fire Tod Young.
Simmons, a former snowboard park employee, accused Young of "a dirty trick" in closing arguments in Simmons' trial on a charge of robbery with a deadly weapon. He objected to Young's suggestion that the Nov. 22, 2005, robbery of the Minden Bank of America branch could have been committed by a friend of Simmons.
Young denied Simmons' allegation Monday, but said his client would not communicate with him and he felt he could no longer represent him.
"Communication with Mr. Simmons has been very difficult from the beginning. Now it is impossible," Young said.
Young declined to say much about their conversations because he didn't want to violate attorney-client privilege.
Gibbons, who heard the three-day trial, said Young was an experienced criminal defense lawyer who performed to the best of his ability for his client.
"I can't think of anyone who would have done a better job for you," Gibbons said.
"I don't wish to deal with him anymore," Simmons said.
Gibbons assigned the case to Zumpft if he is willing to accept it. He left the sentencing date at March 12 unless Simmons' new attorney requests more time.
Simmons, who is being held in Douglas County Jail without bail, faces up to 30 years in prison.
He was convicted by a jury of nine men and three women on Jan. 25.