If you're due in court and your lawyer doesn't show up, what happens?

Do they give you another date or go on with the proceedings anyway?

Answers:
It would probably depend on the type of infraction, the reason you are in court that day and the judge presiding.

If you are just pleading guilty/not guilty, you may be required to enter a plea, but generally the judge will set another date after waiting a few minutes.

Do you plan on preventing your lawyer from showing up, or is there a reason you don't think they will?
It depends on the circumstances and also how unfair it will be to the other party. If your lawyer has an excuse the judge may accept it, or may still decide to continue with the hearing. In some cases, the judge may actually issue a direction forcing the lawyer to turn up or their representative.

If the circumstances are extremely unfair to the other party - for example, they have prepared for the hearing today and then it turns out you can't proceed, and thus causing them more delay, the judge can force you to continue. The most you can do then is sue your lawyer for breach of duty.
Usually, the Judge will ask if your Attorney is present. If not, they'll put your case aside and call the next case and you will wait all day in the corridor. At last call, the Judge will call you in and without representation will schedule you for another date. Not good though, he'll be ticked at your Lawyer.
You're screwed.
they re-schedule it.
In Canada it would be extremely rare to force a party to proceed without their lawyer. If there is no valid excuse or explanation for the lawyer's failure to appear the judge could impose cost sanctions against the lawyer, including paying the opposite party's legal expenses for attending court that day. The judge could also order the lawyer off the case. The party whose lawyer failed to appear ,is in the circumstances, an innocent victim of his lawyer's failure, and would not be punished by the judge.
Usually, you have the option of proceeding yourself, or asking the court for a continuance.

But the lawyer is going to get slapped by the court -- how hard depends on their reasons (or excuses) for failing to appear.

But most courts (most of the time) don't penalize the client the first time their attorney doesn't show up.
U.S. courts almost never proceed without a party's attorney present if the party is there and does not know why the attorney is not present. There are exceptions (it has hapenned before with the party and attorney or it is a minor and only procedural matter.

The attorney is screwed, by the way. He or she better have a good excuse for not attending a hearing.
It depends on the circumstances. I agree that if your lawyer does not show up when you are entering a plea, it is no serious matter. Most judges will have you enter a plea of "not guilty."

I have been in Section 341(a) hearings in Bankruptcy Court before a trustee, and in one occasion the trustee asked another attorney to help the alleged bankrupt, and in another circumstance the trustee led the person through the standard list of questions.

If your attorney does not show up for a trial, I would recommend asking for a recess until the attorney arrives. If he does not show up within a reasonable time, ask for a continuance.


The Answers post by the user, for information only, FreeLawAnswer does not guarantee the right.
Answer question:


More Law Questions and Answers: