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Gilbertson Draglines, Inc v. Operating Engineers Health and Welfare Trust Fund For

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 31, 2012

GILBERTSON DRAGLINES, INC.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
OPERATING ENGINEERS HEALTH AND WELFARE TRUST FUND FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Per their motion, Ronald W. Brown, Robert L. Boucher and the firm Cook Brown, LLP (collectively "Counsel"), seek leave of this Court to withdraw as Plaintiff's attorneys. Counsel attests to multiple attempts to engage Plaintiff's owner in the prosecution of this case, most of which were ignored or thwarted by Plaintiff. See Declaration of Robert L. Boucher ("Boucher Decl."), ¶¶ 7-11. In addition, Counsel avers Plaintiff has accumulated over $47,000 in legal fees that it has failed to address in any material manner for months. Id., ¶¶ 6, 9, 12.

Due to Plaintiff's "on-again, off-again contact with the firm," Counsel does not believe it can continue to effectively represent Plaintiff. Motion, 4:12-15. Plaintiff has not opposed Counsel's request in that regard. While the fact withdrawal in this case will leave a corporate Plaintiff unrepresented weighs against withdrawal, Plaintiff's lack of opposition and utter failure to assist its current counsel in the prosecution of its case constitute good cause for granting the motion. See Canandaigua Wine Co., Inc. v. Edwin Moldauer, 2009 WL 89141, *2 (E.D. Cal.).

In addition, the Court notes that this motion is governed by the requirements of Local Rule 182(d), which provides that an attorney may not withdraw, leaving the client in propria persona, absent noticed motion and an affidavit from counsel showing the efforts made to provide notification of the attorney's intent to withdraw. Counsel's declaration complies with those requirements and this request to withdraw is accordingly proper.

Finally, Defendants filed a Statement of Non-Opposition (ECF No. 68) to withdrawal and simply asked the Court to modify the trial dates so that they will not be prejudiced by having to prepare for a trial that likely will not take place, or, at the very least, will not take place in June. Defendants' request is also supported by good cause and the trial, final pretrial conference, and all other deadlines set per this Court's July 20, 2011, minute order are hereby VACATED.

Accordingly, because Counsel's request is procedurally correct, substantively supported and unopposed, the Motion to Withdraw is GRANTED.*fn1 Ronald W. Brown, Robert L. Boucher and the firm Cook Brown, LLP are relieved as counsel of record for Plaintiff effective upon the filing of proof of service of this signed order on Plaintiff at its last known address, Gilbertson Draglines, Inc., Jess Gilbertson, P.O. Box 365, Knights Landing, California 95645. Not later than thirty (30) days following the date that proof of service is electronically filed, Plaintiff is ordered to file an association of counsel with the Court. Failure to comply with this Order will result in sanctions, up to and including termination sanctions and/or striking of Plaintiff's Answer to Defendants' Counterclaim. See E.D. Cal. Local Rule 110.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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