Q: What do I do when my lawyer passed away right before divorce trial?
My lawyer passed away right before my trial. I'm in the middle of a pretty horrible divorce. I've contacted the nysba multiple times with no call back or answer. The judges Chambers as well and my attorneys office. I've received no mail on if my court date has been moved or who is taking over as he was the only lawyer for his lawfirm. I'm at a loss of what to do. All I need is my file to hire on my new attorney but noone is at the office or answering the phones and my court date is coming up very soon. What do I do. Noone is giving me any answers and no lawyer will take me without my file.
A: Fax a letter to the Court - if need be the administrative judge and and also contact your local county bar association.
Joseph Douglas Barics agrees with this answer
First of all, your case is stayed automatically upon the death of your lawyer. See CPLR 321(c)
Many think the stay is for thirty days, but that is not correct. The other side must first make a demand and that starts the 30 days running.
The 30 days countdown also starts once you have a new lawyer. It can be extended, at the discretion of the court for a sufficient reason, such as the loss of a file due to an attorney dying.
A lawyer should know how to proceed in this situation and how to obtain time to get your file, as well as how to protect you in case that time is not given.
You can check the court calendar online at www.nycourts.gov, go to the e courts and find your case.
Lawrence Allen Weinreich agrees with this answer
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