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First choice for external examiner declined and second choice is not responding...

Hi all,

I'm starting to get a little worried as my first pick for an extern declined due to work-load issues, which was fairly devastating. We contacted my second pick a few days ago but he has not responded as of yet. Has anyone else had experiences like this? Did your first choice say no? And how long did it take for your extern to respond to your request? I'm also wondering if we left it too late to ask - how long before submission is the 'norm' to contact examiners?

Thanks so much in advance!