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Bryant v. Amtrak

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 15, 2009

JAMES BRYANT, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMTRAK, A BUSINESS FORM UNKNOWN; AND THROUGH 50, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Napoleon A. Jones, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER: (1) GRANTING ATTORNEY MARK-ROBERT BLUEMEL'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL (2) CONTINUING DEFENDANT'S DOES 1 MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AND SETTING BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Before the Court is attorney Mark-Robert Bluemel's motion to withdraw as attorney of record for Plaintiff James Bryant. This matter has come for hearing before the Court several times previously. On May 18, 2009, the Court ordered Mr. Bluemel to submit an itemization of costs incurred related to this case and continued the motion until June 1, 2009. At the June 1 hearing, the Court found that the accounting Mr. Bluemel provided was inadequate and ordered Mr. Bluemel to submit a revised accounting of costs. The Court has received and reviewed the revised accounting and finds that this accounting is once again inadequate. The itemization for expenses related to the case remains essentially unchanged from the last submission, except that the figures have increased by $562.47 with no explanation of those increases. The revised accounting includes an itemization for over $17,000 in attorney's fees; however, such fees are not at issue presently because the contingent fee arrangement set out in the Legal Services Agreement signed by Mr. Bryant makes the client responsible only for costs and expenses, not for attorney's fees.

Because Mr. Bluemel has not provided the Court with an adequate accounting of costs and expenses incurred, the Court will GRANT Mr. Bluemel's motion to be relieved as counsel only upon the condition that Mr. Bluemel refund Mr. Bryant the $1500 retainer Mr. Bryant paid for this case. Mr. Bluemel must submit proof of such refund to the Court within two weeks of today.

Also before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Court hereby CONTINUES that motion until Monday, July 13, 2009 at 8:30am . If Plaintiff retains new counsel, he should appear with counsel at the July 13 hearing; otherwise, he may proceed pro se. Plaintiff's Opposition to the Motion will be due June 29, 2009 , and Defendant's Reply will be due July 6, 2009 .

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090615

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