IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 29, 2012
DELORES W. GIVENS, PLAINTIFF,
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION ET AL.,
This case was on calendar for a hearing on Julius M. Engel's motion to withdraw as attorney of record for plaintiff Givens. Although plaintiff did not appear, the court considered her letter, dated April 25, 2012 and filed on the court's docket on April 30, 2012. This letter confirms counsel's claim that plaintiff is refusing to communicate with him. This is a sufficient reason to allow Mr. Engel to withdraw as counsel. CAL. RULES PROF. CONDUCT 3-700(C)(6).
However, an attorney "shall not withdraw from employment until the member has taken reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client . . . ." Id. 3-700 (A)(2). In light of the pending motion to dismiss, the court directs Mr. Engel to notify plaintiff of her obligation to oppose the motion or file a statement of non-opposition and the possibility that the case may be dismissed for failure to prosecute if she does not respond to the pending motion, and to inform the court within seven days of the date of this order that he has done so.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
1. Attorney Engel's motion to withdraw (ECF No. 9) is granted, subject to the conditions specified above, and attorney Engel's filing of proof of compliance with the same;
2. The Clerk of the Court shall substitute Delores Givens in propria persona;
3. The hearing on the motion to dismiss, currently set for June 8, 2012, is continued to July 13, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Plaintiff's opposition or statement of non-opposition to the motion is due no later than June 22, 2012, with the reply, if any, due no later than June 29, 2012. Plaintiff is cautioned that a failure to respond to the motion to dismiss may result in an order dismissing the case for lack of prosecution; and
4. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of this order on Delores Givens at the address listed on Mr. Engel's proof of service of his motion to withdraw.
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