Attorney Participation in Family Court Hearings in Absence of Clients

, New York Law Journal


Chris Gottlieb, co-director of the NYU School of Law Family Defense Clinic, and Holly Beck, staff attorney with The Bronx Defenders, write that when a court conducts a hearing in the absence of a defending party, an attorney who appears for that party may face a dilemma: whether to participate in the hearing, and thereby waive the client's right to move based on excusable non-appearance to vacate a finding and re-open the hearing, or not participate and thereby forgo the opportunity to challenge the petitioner's case.

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