What Do Clients Do After an Attorney Death?
If you are in need of legal representation, you are always are able to choose what attorney will represent you at all times. This is particularly true during the uncertain period after an attorney passes away with open and ongoing cases. Massachusetts law allows for clients of a deceased attorney to be transferred or “sold” to a predetermined new law firm, and the estate of the deceased lawyer has an interest in sending the cases to this firm to keep a higher percentage of attorney fees. However, this practice of “selling” cases frequently does not provide a client with the best attorney to handle the case, and a client is rarely informed or reminded that he or she has an absolute choice as to which attorney will handle the case in the future.
If this happens to you, know that you are not obligated to take your case to the predetermined lawyer or firm. In fact, clients of a deceased lawyer can even switch attorneys without affecting the attorney fee arrangement or paying additional fees. If your case is being handled on a contingent fee bases, the total fee to you will remain the same and will be divided between the estate of the deceased attorney and the new attorney in proportion to the value of the work performed in the case. Your new attorney will contact the estate of the deceased attorney to transfer the file immediately and continue the case unabated.
A client whose attorney has passed away is probably worried that the case will be pushed aside or lost in the shuffle in the new law firm, but this does not have to be true. When fishermen, longshoremen, merchant seamen or other maritime workers are injured on the job, we understand that their lives and livelihoods are depending on the cases moving forward without interruption.
If you are in need of legal representation for a new or ongoing case involving injuries or accidents occurring at sea, visit our website to learn about your rights under maritime law, and call us at (800) 392-6072 to schedule a free consultation with a qualified Boston maritime trial lawyer.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime attorneys