Attorney of record
An attorney of record is a lawyer or barrister who has appeared in court or signed pleadings. The attorney of record in American or British courts remains the official lawyer, until some other attorney replaces him or her. This attorney "has made an appearance on behalf of a party to a lawsuit."
In most U.S. jurisdictions, an attorney must obtain court permission to terminate the status of attorney of record. Attorneys of record cannot absolve themselves of their responsibilities to their clients by sending another attorney in his or her place.
An attorney of record must inform the court, all parties (if pro se), and all other attorneys on the case when the attorney of record withdraws or files a motion to do so. They must also quickly inform the court of any change of email address immediately. An attorney of record must not "abandon" their client.
Attorneys of record have some special privileges in certain courts and types of cases. They are on a short list of people, including the litigants, who may request certified copies of sealed divorce decrees.
- Law.com dictionary
- See note 1, above.
- Ballentine's Law Dictionary, p. 39
- See, e.g., a California Court system form: , and a New York case, People v. Mack, 2007 NY Slip Op 02824 (3d Dep't 2007):
- George Constant, Inc. v. Berman, Index No. 604507/01 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., N.Y. Cty. 2003)
- For instance, N.Y. Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) 321(b)(2)
- For examples of attorneys being allowed to withdraw ("leave of court"): see Benefield v City of New York, 2006 NYSlipOp 26482 (Sup. Ct., Bronx Cty. 2006); Messinger v The Mount Sinai Medical Center, N.Y. docket M-1214 (1st Dep't 2003).
- See, 22 NYCRR Part 206, §202.5-b (2007), N.Y. Court of Claims rule, found at:
- See, e.g., Matter of Markuson, 2007 NY Slip Op 50128(U) (Surrogate's Ct., Dutchess Cty. 2007, by Pagones, J.)
- See Kings County, New York (Borough of Brooklyn, New York) Clerk web page: