Q: My lawyer has passed away. We were in the middle of an appeal. What do I do now?
This was a landlord tennant issue. She worked by herself. I had already paid the retainer. We won our original case but the collection agency that was suing me appealed. I have little to no info about the status of our case, she was taking care of everything. The last time I was in court was about 8 months ago.
A: Contact the lawyer's office to see if an alternative counsel was designated. If not, request your file from the office. As a general rule you should receive a refund for any unused portion of retainer amount (excluding any costs/fees for services already rendered). There are procedures in place to protect clients in your situation, but you must stay proactive and make sure that you either find a replacement lawyer or have your file. You can also contact the court where your case is being heard. As an aside, you will likely get an automatic 3-6 month extension from the court due to the death of your lawyer--but you or your attorney must make the request.
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