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Dobler & Sons LLC, et al v. California Organics

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION


July 24, 2011

DOBLER & SONS LLC, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CALIFORNIA ORGANICS, LLC, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.
OCEANO PACKING COMPANY, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS
v.
CALIFORNIA ORGANICS LLC, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTION TO STRIKE ANSWER

(re: dkt. #57)

On May 11, 2011, Defendants California Organics, LLC, Geoff Mousseau, Dan Fantz, and California Farms filed an Answer to the First Amended Complaint of Plaintiff Oceano Packing Company ("Oceano"). See Dkt. #55. Attorney George F. Braun, California State Bar Number 141952, is listed as counsel for these four Defendants (collectively "Braun Defendants"). Oceano moves to strike the Answer of the Braun Defendants. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court deems this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument and vacates the July 28, 2011 motion hearing. was not eligible to practice law in California. See Ocean Mot. to Strike Answerat 4 ("the website 3 for the State Bar of California lists attorney George Frederick Braun with the same address and

2011, the Court issued a briefing schedule, providing that any opposition Ocean's motion to strike 6 should have been filed by June 22, 2011. As of the date of this Order, no opposition has been filed. 7

Civil Local Rule 11-1(a) provides that: "only members of the bar of this Court may practice in this Court. The bar of this Court consists of attorneys of good moral character who are active 10 members in good standing of the bar of this Court prior to the effective date of these local rules and those attorneys who are admitted to membership after the effective date." (emphasis added) Civil Local Rule 11-1(b) states that "an applicant for admission to membership in the bar of this Court 13 must be an attorney who is an active member in good standing of the State Bar of California." 14

Defendants, Attorney George F. Braun was not an "active member" of the California Bar and was 16 not eligible to practice law in California. However, it does appear from the California State Bar 17 website that, as of May 23, 2011, Mr. Braun's status changed to "active" and eligible to practice 18 law in California. This change in status does not excuse Mr. Braun's filing of a pleading during a 19 time in which he was not eligible to practice law in California. See United States v. Benoit, 2011 20 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64731, *9 (S.D. Cal. June 16, 2011) ("emphasizing that attorneys must, at all 21 times, meet the highest standards of professional conduct. Practicing before this Court absent an 22 active state bar membership is clearly prohibited."). Thus, the Court agrees with Oceano that the 23

Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Oceano's unopposed motion [dkt. #57] to strike the Answer of the Braun Defendants. The July 28, 2011 motion hearing is vacated. 26

Oceano argues that, at the time of the filing of the Braun Defendants' Answer, Mr. Braun California State Bar Number listed on the answer as 'not eligible to practice law.'"). On June 1, 5

On June 29, 2011, Oceano filed a short reply, pointing out that no opposition has been filed. 8

(emphasis added) On May 11, 2011, at the time of the filing of the Answer for the Braun 15

Braun Defendants' May 11, 2011 Answer should be stricken.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110724

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