UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 4, 2012
CARRIE HAWECKER, ET AL.,
RAWLAND LEON SORENSON, DEFENDANT. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
RAWLAND LEON SORENSON, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER RELIEVING COUNSEL; ORDER
Defendant Rawland Leon Sorenson is proceeding pro se in this action after the Court granted his former attorneys' motion to withdraw. (Doc. 123) At a hearing held on May 25, 2012, Mr. Sorenson appeared and represented himself. At that hearing, Mr. Sorenson explained that he had been unable to obtain agreement by any local attorney to represent him given that he was being sued by the United States of America. Moreover, Mr. Sorenson explained that he was "broke" which the Court took to mean that he had minimal liquid assets. Indeed, in attempting to obtain Mr. Sorenson's comments on the matters before the Court, it became clear that he was unable to explain his position in a linear and coherent fashion and the Court has little doubt that he would be unable to present even a rudimentary defense of the case at trial.
On May 29, 2012, the Court appointed attorney David Kiernan to represent Defendant after he expressed agreement to accept the case. (Doc. 144) After further reflection, Mr. Kiernan has notified the Court that he is unable to take the case. Therefore, Mr. Kiernan is relieved as counsel of record.
In the meanwhile, a second attorney, M. Greg Mullanax has agreed to accept the appointment and has expressed a willingness to proceed to trial in this case. Based upon these factors and the burden on the Court posed by a litigant who is unable to meaningfully participate in trial preparation and trial, the Court continues to find that appointment of counsel for Defendant is warranted.
M. Greg Mullanx is hereby appointed and he has accepted the appointment. Should Mr. Sorenson wish to reject this appointment, he may do so by alerting the Court of this fact in writing, within 21 days of service of this order.
Based upon the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. David C. Kiernan is relieved as counsel in the above entitled matter;
2. M. Greg Mullanax is appointed as counsel in the above entitled matter;
2. M. Greg Mullanax shall contact the Court's ADR Coordinator, Sujean Park, at (916) 930-4278 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if he has any questions related to the appointment;
3. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of this order upon M. Greg Mullanax, Law Offices of M. Greg Mullanax, 2140 N. Winery Avenue, Suite 101, Fresno, California 93703;
4. Mr. Sorenson may reject this appointment by providing written notification to the Court of his rejection, within 21 days of service of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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