This is an interesting question. I have been doing medical negligence cases in California for about 34 years. I have handled a fair number of case dropped by other attorneys and have gotten good results for my clients. So the answer to your question is you probably can locate another attorney to handle your wife's matter assuming her claim has merit. For a claim to have merit, on most basic level you need to show the other party (defendant) was negligent and the plaintiff (your wife) suffered injuries. This types of cases are difficult.
You should seek local counsel and get a second opinion on the claim and figure out what has been going on for the last 6 years.
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The judge shouldn't let the lawyer off the hook until another lawyer is substituted. Use Avvo's "find a lawyer" tool, and call some local lawyers.
I've also taken cases that other attorneys have "abandoned." Obviously another lawyer initially looks at such a case suspiciously. If its a good case why would a lawyer want out? If it's a good case, then I have no problem pursuing it. Meet with as many lawyers as you need to find someone willing to take it over or until you feel comfortable that for whatever reason the case should not be pursued any further.
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What did the Court do? Did you go to the hearing? Sometimes the Court will not permit dismissal after this kind of passage of time. You should also get a copy of any order entered by the Court and you should be given time to find a new attorney. It may be difficult to find a new attorney, but you should diligently try by looking on this site.
I would do several things--the circumstances, however, would dictate the order in which I did each. (1) Find out the status of your claim before you agree to his withdrawal from representation. You need to know whether it is set for trial, whether there are any significant deadlines upon you, or that have elapsed, etc. (2) Find out whether your current attorney intends to assert a lien against any potential recovery should you retain another attorney who recovers money for you. If so, then I would ask for a copy of expenses incurred on your behalf. (3) Contact another medical malpractice attorney quickly. (If possible, I would contact other medical malpractice attorneys before the withdrawal.)
-This response to an anonymous query does not create an attorney-client relationship and should not be relied upon as legal advice as to any particular matter. A legal analysis of the specific facts of each case, not just the information provided in the query, is necessary to analyze a case and to give legal advice. -I have not investigated your case and am expressing no opinion as to its merits or the likelihood of whether you would prevail. -I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney about this matter without delay to ensure your rights will not be lost or jeopardized. Time limits may apply to any claim you may have against third parties. If you wish to proceed with your claim, it is important to act immediately. Failure to do so may bar your claim based upon time limits established by statutory law, court rules or case law. If your claim is barred based upon time limits, you will not be able to pursue any action to recover damages or other relief. Because I do not represent you, I have not researched and have not advised you regarding the application of time limits to any claims you may have.
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