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Giles v. Thompson

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 30, 2010

BEN GILES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JUSTIN PAUL THOMPSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James Lorenz United States District Court Judge

ORDER GRANTING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL OF RECORD

On August 12, 2010 counsel for Defendant Water Toys, Inc. ("Water Toys") filed an ex parte application to withdraw as counsel of record for that Defendant only. Although Water Toys and Plaintiff were served with the application, they did not respond. For the reasons which follow, the application to withdraw is GRANTED.

An attorney representing a client before a tribunal may not withdraw except by leave of court. Darby v. City of Torrance, 810 F. Supp. 275, 276 (C.D. Cal. 1992); Cal. R. Prof. Conduct 3-700(A)(1). This court requires counsel to "comply with the standards of professional conduct required of members of the State Bar of California, and decisions of any court applicable thereto." Civ. Loc. R. 83.4(b).

Counsel maintains withdrawal is necessitated by Water Toys' failure to communicate and cooperate with its counsel in the proceedings. The counsel filed an answer in this case on January 16, 2009. All attempts to communicate with Water Toys since then have been unsuccessful. The counsel argues these circumstances have rendered it unreasonably difficult to continue to adequately represent this Defendant. While withdrawal under the circumstances of this case is not mandatory, it is permissive. See Cal. R. Prof. Conduct & 3-700(C)(1)(d) (unreasonably difficult for counsel to carry out his employment). Having reviewed the application and the supporting declaration of counsel, the court finds good cause to GRANT the application.

Water Toys is a corporation and therefore must be represented by counsel. See Civ. Local Rule 83.3(k); D-Beam Ltd. P'ship v. Roller Derby Skates, Inc., 366 F.3d 972, 973-74 (9th Cir. 2004). No later than September 20, 2010 Water Toys shall file a notice of appearance identifying its new counsel, including address and telephone number.

For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows: 1. Defense counsel's ex parte application to withdraw as counsel of record for Defendant Water Toys, Inc. is GRANTED.

2. The Clerk of Court shall reflect on the docket that Thomas F. Feerick, Esq. is terminated as counsel for Defendant Water Toys, Inc. only.

3. Defense counsel shall serve a copy of this order on Water Toys, Inc. by most expeditious means available and file a proof of service no later than September 7, 2010.

4. No later than September 27, 2010 Water Toys, Inc. shall file a notice of appearance identifying its new counsel, including address and telephone number.

5. The answer filed on behalf of Water Toys, Inc. may be stricken and default entered against it if it fails timely to comply with this order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100830

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