What happens if someone doesn’t show up for court because they never paid their lawyer, so he never informed them they had a court date for contempt?

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What happens if someone doesn’t show up for court because they never paid their lawyer, so he never informed them they had a court date for contempt?

Our son-in-law is in contempt of separation papers and being sued for not paying support and cancelling special-needs child ins. Atty told our daughter he informed x’s attorney and never heard back (papers weren’t served to x). Atty told us that x probably never paid his attorney and would be served a bench warrant if he doesnt show up for court. Will the court enforce this if the x wasn’t notified by his attorney, because he never PAID his attorney from past stuff? it is out of state and expensive for her to go to court..if nothing will happen in her favor. Our atty is terrible and slow 🙁

Asked on April 29, 2009 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Then you need a new attorney, plain and simple if your atty is terrible and slow.  Further, you should report your lawyer to the bar.  In terms of what happens with the other attorney/son-in-law situation:

1. What states is the proceeding -- i.e., where is the exe's lawyer?

2. What does the ethics rules of lawyers state in that situation?

3. In most family law cases, if he has a reason he was in contempt, he would/should hire another lawyer to have the contempt charges.warrants dropped.

4. In terms of lawyer not showing up because he never paid his lawyer: first, in most states, that cannot be a sufficient reason to effectively withdraw from representation and leave the client hanging and SECOND, in most states, payments are made in family law cases so that this sort of thing doesn't happen. 

 

For a new lawyer for you: www.attorneypages.com and/or the North Carolina state bar.  In terms of reporting your lawyer, in many states, some of the fees you paid out may be recoverable under some sort of fund.


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