Appearance By Attorney

T.J. v. L.D., [Ms. 2200423, Sept. 24, 2021] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2021). The court (Fridy, J.; Thompson, P. J., and Moore, Edwards, and Hanson, JJ., concur) reverses the Etowah Juvenile Court’s judgment in a custody modification proceeding because the juvenile court erred in refusing to consider the father’s motion to alter, amend, or vacate the judgment because his new attorney had not yet filed a notice of appearance when the motion was filed. In reversing, the court notes that the father’s new attorney filed the postjudgment motion at issue after the juvenile court had already granted the previous attorney’s motion to withdraw from the case, Ms. *8, and holds

“‘“An appearance in a suit by an attorney of the proper court, is presumed to be authorized. The burden of proof is upon the party denying the authority.”’ Pallilla v. Galilee Baptist Church, 215 Ala. 667, 669, 112 So. 134, 135 (1927) (quoting Doe v. Abbott, 152 Ala. 243, 245, 44 So. 637, 637 (1907)). ‘Where the authority of an attorney to appear for a party to a cause or proceeding is a subject of inquiry, the appearance of the attorney is presumptive evidence of the authority of the attorney to represent the party; and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, such appearance is sufficient to justify the conclusion that the attorney was authorized by the party to appear and represent him in the cause or proceeding.’ Kemp v. Donovan, 208 Ala. 289, 290, 94 So. 168, 169 (1922) (citations omitted). Accord 7 Am. Jur. 2d Attorneys at Law § 160 (1997) and 7A C.J.S. Attorney & Client § 171 (1980); [b]ut cf. Singleton v. Allen, 431 So. 2d 547, 549 (Ala. Civ. App. 1983).”

Ms. *7, quoting Kingvision Pay-Per-View, Ltd. v. Ayers, 886 So. 2d 45, 52 (Ala. 2003).

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