Occasionally, appearing at court is an emergency. You may need a civil protection order, or there may be an emergency hearing regarding parenting time. However, most of the time, the Court gives parties plenty of notice of upcoming hearings.
It is not unusual for me to hear from a prospective client that a hearing is scheduled for a week out, or a few days out, or tomorrow. In those cases, getting a lawyer is challenging.
Because hearings are generally scheduled weeks or months in advance, I simply may not be available if a hearing is happening within a week or less. More importantly, I can’t ethically take on a case unless I can deal with it competently. That means I need time to get to know you and prepare the case. Many lawyers have these scheduling challenges, and the result is that if you make your first call to a lawyer with a hearing in the next few days, you may not be able to get the expert help you need.
Emergency orders do happen, so you should definitely call the firm if the Court has given you short notice. You may have to call a few lawyers to find one who can fit your case in, but you should clarify that you are dealing with an emergency setting, and not just a late-in-the-day call for a final hearing.
I understand that going through a court proceeding is frightening and overwhelming. But to succeed, you need to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible, so you can have the opportunity for expert representation. Let’s face it, it will be a lot less scary to talk to me about a hearing a month from now than to walk into court without a lawyer.