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In California civil court cases:

  1. Will court extend filing deadlines for me if I can prove that my attorney was unresponsive?

  2. Are attorneys liable for the consequences of missing court deadlines?

  • How about, "Hire a different attorney"? – user6726 Dec 23 '19 at 20:42
  • @user6726 But then the legal system has a big flaw, because the only way for me to find out that I had to hire different attorney is only when current attorney already missed the deadline. – user389238 Dec 23 '19 at 21:02
  • "Will my attorney be on hook for all ramifications of default judgement" Nope, you will be. You may be able to sue the lawyer and recover something, but a default judgement is against you, not your lawyer. – Ron Beyer Dec 23 '19 at 21:04
  • Yes, sometimes you discover a person is incompetent only after they should have done something. That is how life works, not just judicial process. Hire a better lawyer this time. – Nij Dec 23 '19 at 21:31
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    The flaw is that there's no reliable way of knowing for certain if the next lawyer will be any better. – user6726 Dec 23 '19 at 21:42
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In California civil court cases:

Will court extend filing deadlines for me if I can prove that my attorney was unresponsive?

Generally only in cases of "gross negligence" on the part of the attorney, or other "excusable neglect" (e.g. the attorney died). Not always even then.

The typical "gross neglect" fact pattern is that an attorney just wakes up one day, steals all of the client funds in his trust account, and travels to another country, or sinks into a deep clinical depression and ignores all of his cases for a long period of time, often weeks or months.

Are attorneys liable for the consequences of missing court deadlines?

If missing the deadline failed to live up to the standard of care for a reasonable attorney (usually it will be a breach of a standard of care but in very complex cases it might not), and if one can prove that the missed court deadline caused economic harm, then usually an attorney can be sued for malpractice for missing a court deadline.

As a practical matter, there are lots and lots of court deadlines and it is the exception rather than the rule that you can show that missing a particular court deadline caused you harm. But, it certainly happens.

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