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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 116789
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My sons father is scheduled to go to jury trial in a few weeks.

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My son's father is scheduled to go to jury trial in a few weeks. He had just finished paying his attorney 2 weeks and but unfortunately last week the attorney passed away unexpectedly. He went to court to inform the judge of this and ask for the trial to be postponed until he can get new representation but the judge said no. Can the judge do that? Is there anything that can be filed pro se to get the trial postponed for this reason?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Legally, the judge has discretion to continue the case for good cause. The death of an attorney is good cause and if this is a criminal case he is entitled to an attorney and the refusal to give him time to get an attorney would be considered reversible error if they force him to go to trial without one because it is a violation of his constitutional rights.

He needs to file a written motion for continuance based on death of his attorney, to put his request on the record in court, and in the motion he needs to state he has a 6th Amendment right to counsel and the fact that his counsel has died within a few weeks of trial is good cause to grant a continuance for him to obtain new counsel pursuant to his Constitutional rights. If the court refuses, then he has grounds for appeal. However, in the meantime before trial he must make a diligent search to get a new attorney and if he does and that attorney files for a continuance to get caught up to speed on the case, the judge is more likely to grant that continuance quickly coming from the attorney.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What would the motion be called? Or is it basically just a statement?

No, the motion is called a "Motion for Continuance" that is what it is called and your husband needs to get a motion form from the form books at the court library.
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