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Johnson v. Ramirez

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 13, 2008

SCOTT N. JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BENANCIO RAMIREZ, DEFENDANT.

ORDER

This case was before the undersigned for a Status Conference October 22, 2008. Plaintiff and attorney Scott Johnson appeared on his own behalf. No appearance was made on behalf of defendant, who is represented by attorney Hector Cavazos. Accordingly, by order filed October 29, 2008, the court ordered defendant's counsel to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed for his failure to appear at the Status Conference.

Mr. Cavazos timely filed a response to the order to show cause in which he explained that (1) he erred in construing the second of two electronic filings in this case, on September 17, 2008, as a repetition of the first, and thereby failed to realize a new date had been set for Status Conference; and (2) consistent with his statements set forth in the Joint Status Report, Mr. Cavazos has been unable to reach his client ("complete loss of communication with my client"), and intends to file a motion to withdraw his representation.

Although the court accepts Mr. Cavazos' explanation for his failure to appear at the original Status Conference, the inconvenience and expenses incurred by plaintiff should be compensated.

Accordingly, Mr. Cavazos shall reimburse plaintiff the amount of $250.00. This sum shall be paid to Mr. Johnson no later than ten (10) days from the filing date of this order. Mr. Cavazos shall, within five (5) days thereafter, file with the court an affidavit stating that he paid plaintiff, and did so out of personal funds, and will not bill his client, either directly or indirectly, for the expenses thereof.

If Mr. Cavazos intends to file a motion to withdraw his representation of plaintiff, he should do so as soon as possible. Mr. Cavazos is reminded of the requirements for withdrawal. See E. D. Cal. L. R. ("Local Rule") 83-183(d); California Rules of Professional Conduct (State Bar), Rule 3-700. The Local Rule requires a "noticed motion and notice to the client and all other parties who have appeared." Local Rule 83-183(d). Mr. Cavazos has apparently misconstrued this rule as requiring that he serve plaintiff with his motion. Nothing in the rule specifies personal service. Rather, counsel is required to submit "an affidavit stating the current or last known address or addresses of the client and the efforts made to notify the client of the motion to withdraw." Id.

Finally, the Status Conference in this matter, presently scheduled for November 19, 2008, is hereby CONTINUED to December 17, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom No. 25, subject to a motion to withdraw filed by defendant's counsel. The parties need not file further status reports in contemplation of the continued Status Conference

SO ORDERED.

20081113

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