If a lawyer goes into court claiming he represents X when in fact he never had any contact with X, was never retained by X and is not being paid by X, he is misrepresenting his status and that of X. The fundamental problem is that the lawyer has shown up without a client and X is not present. In judicial states this is simply a matter of jurisdiction or lack thereof. With X not there as Plaintiff there is no case to be decided.
When a lawyer files a notice of appearance but does not appear, it has its own consequences on the lawyer (Sometimes) and certainly on the party designated as the Plaintiff (A designation that is in most cases FALSE.)
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