What will happen if my attorney recently died and my sentencing is scheduled for next month?

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What will happen if my attorney recently died and my sentencing is scheduled for next month?

He was already been paid $3000 up front. Will his estate cover for another lawyer to take on his caseloads? He was a sole practitioner. My plea agreement was already made. Does the prosecutor still have to honor it?

Asked on January 30, 2012 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

Robert Kane / Law Offices of Robert D. Kane, Jr.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Eventually, you may be able to have the attorney's estate or business cover the costs of another attorney. Unforutately, it is very unlikely this is going to happen before your hearing.  The prosecutor will most certainly honor the plea agreement. It appears you are at the end of the process, so there is little that is required of an attorney. First, I would try to contact anyone that was associated with the deceased attorney (e.g. secretary, paralegal, or anyone answering his phone) to find out the situation. If this does not result in any resolution, I would call another attorney to be present at the sentencing hearing and help you with dealing with the deceased attorney's affairs (it shouldn't cost you much).  Good Luck.


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