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Once you have been engaged on the project, I'd set up a meeting ASAP with the development PM to schedule a proper knowledge transfer. That initial meeting can also be used as an opportunity for you to voice any concerns you have.
From there, I'd expect the two of you would continue to have regular touch points until the transition of deliverables has been completed and you should be given appropriate access to key project outputs.
You can always join a project and catch up. I know it could be hard, however, it is possible.
You need to establish your expected roles on the project.
If the development PM is transitioning the project to the launch PM, then you need to focus more on the specifics of the project than personal relationships as that relationship will not last long.
If you will be working together instead of taking over, then you should put more effort into building the working relationship. That includes ensuring you have role clarity as to who is responsible for managing what types of issues.
You may need a transition management plan where you identify the project management artefacts that will be transitioned, along with any necessary briefing, training, learning, ...
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