United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS PLAINTIFF'S
COUNSEL; DENYING MOTION TO STAY RE: DKT. NOS. 37, 39
H. KOH United States District Judge.
Shuang Zhang (“Plaintiff”) sues Defendant William
Parfet (“Defendant”) for sexual harassment, sex
discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
See ECF No. 1. Before the Court are Plaintiff and
Plaintiff's counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel
for Plaintiff, ECF No. 37, and Plaintiff's motion to stay
proceedings, ECF No. 39. The Court finds these matters
suitable for resolution without oral argument and accordingly
VACATES the motions hearing set for May 11, 2017. Having
considered the submissions of the parties, the relevant law,
and the record in this case, the Court hereby GRANTS the
motion to withdraw as Plaintiff's counsel and DENIES
Plaintiff's motion to stay proceedings.
filed the instant complaint on August 1, 2016. ECF No. 1.
Plaintiff asserted five causes of action against Defendant:
(1) sexual harassment, in violation of California state law;
(2) sex discrimination, in violation of California state law;
(3) retaliation, in violation of California state law; (4)
failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and
retaliation, in violation of California state law; and (5)
wrongful termination in violation of public policy. See
October 31, 2016, Defendant answered the Complaint. ECF No.
February 24, 2017, the parties participated in mediation with
private mediator Mark Rudy, but the case did not settle. ECF
No. 39-2 (“Kim Decl.”), at ¶ 12.
March 3, 2017, “Plaintiff terminated her
attorney-client relationship with Bohm Law Group, Inc.”
Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiff “explicitly
instructed counsel not to take any further action on her
behalf.” Id. ¶ 13. On March 8, 2017,
“Plaintiff requested counsel to substitute her in,
representing herself pro se.” Id. ¶ 14
& Ex. A. Plaintiff also requested on March 8, 2017 that
counsel ask the Court for a 90 day stay of proceedings
“so that [Plaintiff] may attempt to find a new
attorney.” Id.¶ 14.
March 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to stay proceedings,
which requested that the Court stay proceedings for 90 days
while Plaintiff sought new counsel. ECF No. 37 (“Mot.
to Stay”). Plaintiff's motion stated that
“[i]f litigation continue[d] without competent legal
representation, Plaintiff would have to conduct her own
discovery and respond to opposing counsel's requests and
demands.” Id. at 3. Accordingly, Plaintiff
stated, she would face prejudice if the Court did not stay
proceedings for 90 days as Plaintiff sought new legal
March 27, 2017, Defendant filed an opposition to the motion
to stay proceedings. ECF No. 38 (“Opp. to Mot. to
Stay”). Plaintiff did not file a Reply.
March 28, 2017, Plaintiff and Plaintiff's counsel, Andrew
Kim (“Kim”) of Bohm Law Group, Inc. (“Bohm
Law”), filed a motion to withdraw as Plaintiff's
counsel. ECF No. 39 (“Mot. to Withdraw”). The
motion asserted that Plaintiff had exercised her
“absolute right to discharge an attorney” and
that Plaintiff “instructed and consented to the
withdrawal of current counsel.” Id. at 3;
see also ECF No. 39-2, at ¶ 13.
March 29, 2017, Defendant filed a motion of non-opposition to
the motion to withdraw. ECF No. 40.
4, 2017, Plaintiff filed a notice of substitution of counsel.
ECF No. 42. The notice stated that Jody LeWitter of Siegel
LeWitter and Malkani was substituting as counsel of record
for Plaintiff. See id.