In any client/attorney relationship, it is important to know how to access each other throughout the litigation to ensure that an open channel of communication is available. A frequent source of confusion comes from “Orders of Protection”, the way attorneys request time off for extended periods, including vacation, medical leave, or other personal situations. Attorneys are responsible pursuant to both court rules and ethical rules for responding in a timely fashion to emails and notices, as well as attending hearings and depositions.

South Carolina Orders of Protection

These Orders of  Protection are not automatic. In South Carolina, attorneys must petition the Court for an “Order of Protection”.  The Chief Administrative Judge in each county has the discretion to approve the proposed Order submitted by the attorney, who must represent that there are no pending hearings or depositions in that county during the time requested.

If an attorney has a hearing or deposition already scheduled, then they cannot seek an Order of Protection in an attempt to avoid appearing at the hearing or deposition.

Our Process for Orders of Protection

At Bleecker Family Law, we have best practices and procedures in place to ensure that all clients’ cases are effectively managed when an attorney is out of the office under an Order of Protection. Most of our cases have a secondary attorney assigned to them.  This secondary attorney is kept up to date on tasking and deadlines.

Additionally, when one of our attorneys has an upcoming Order of Protection, we inform clients of the dates ahead of time and provide them with the contact information for the staff member who is covering their case during that time period. For cases where one of our attorneys Guardian ad Litems, generally Melissa Simondi or Sue Chang, takes time off, they make sure that all parties and their counsel of record are aware of any pending unavailable dates.

We are always here to serve our clients. So, even if your attorney is out of the office under an Order of Protection, we have you covered.

If you have questions while your main point of contact is out of the office, please give us a call at 843-571-2725.