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Ortiz v. Alvarez

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 31, 2017

S. ORTIZ, et al., Plaintiff(s),
v.
GERARDO ALVAREZ, et al., Defendant(s).

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS ATTORNEY OF RECORD (ECF NO. 100)

         On May 19, 2017, Plaintiff's counsel Alexia Kirkland of Kirkland Law of California filed a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record for Plaintiffs Alfonso Padron and Elida Padron. (ECF No. 100.) The matter was heard in a motion hearing on May 26, 2017, before the undersigned judge. Defendants did not file any opposition to the Motion or appear at the May 26 hearing. After considering the arguments by the parties and for the reasons set forth on the record at the May 26 hearing and below, the Court GRANTS the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record.

         I. DISCUSSION

         Rule 182(d) of the Local Rules of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California provides that an attorney who has appeared on behalf of a client may not withdraw, leaving the client in propria persona, without leave of court. “Withdrawal of an attorney is governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California.” Local Rule 182(d). Under those rules, permissive withdrawal of an attorney is allowed when, among other things, a client “knowingly and freely assents to termination of the employment.” Cal. Rule of Prof'l Conduct 3-700(C)(5). Courts maintain the discretion to grant or deny a motion to withdraw as counsel, however. LaGrand v. Stewart, 133 F.3d 1253, 1269 (9th Cir. 1998). In considering such a motion, courts may consider: “(1) the reasons why withdrawal is sought; (2) the prejudice withdrawal may cause to other litigants; (3) the harm withdrawal might cause to the administration of justice; and (4) the degree to which withdrawal will delay the resolution of the case.” Leatt Corp. v. Innovative Safety Tech., LLC, No. 09-CV-1301-IEG (POR), 2010 WL 444708, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 2, 2010). “Leave to withdraw may be granted subject to such appropriate conditions as the Court deems fit.” Local Rule 182(d).

         Attorney Kirkland has requested permission to withdraw from this case pursuant to Rule 3-700(C)(5) of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, which provides:

(C) Permissive Withdrawal.
If rule 3-700(B) is not applicable, a member may not request permission to withdraw in matters pending before a tribunal, and may not withdraw in other matters, unless such request or such withdrawal is because:
(5) The client knowingly and freely assents to termination of the employment.

At the May 26, 2017 motion hearing, Alfonso and Elida Pardon made statements to the Court on the record concerning whether they knowingly and freely assented to the termination of Attorney Kirkland. The Court has considered these statements as well as representations from Attorney Kirkland in reaching its conclusion. The Court finds that Plaintiff Alfonso Padron has knowingly and freely assented to the termination of employment for Attorney Kirkland. The Court also finds that Plaintiff Elida Padron has knowingly and freely assented to the termination of employment for Attorney Kirkland. Accordingly, leave of court is granted pursuant to Local Rule 182(d) for Attorney Kirkland to withdraw as counsel for Plaintiffs Alfonso Padron and Elida Padron.

         II. ORDER

         For the reasons set forth above, the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record (ECF No. 100) is GRANTED. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Alexia Kirkland of Kirkland Law of California is relieved as counsel of record for Plaintiff Alfonso Padron. Plaintiff shall be substituted in to proceed in the case pro se and all future communications shall be directed to Plaintiff directly at: Alfonso Padron, 16484 East Rose Avenue, Reedley, California 93656. The docket shall also be updated to reflect Plaintiff's phone number as (559) 513-1329 and email address as arpadroncasi@gmail.com;
2. Alexia Kirkland of Kirkland Law of California is relieved as counsel of record for Plaintiff Elida Padron. Plaintiff shall be substituted in to proceed in the case pro se and all future communications shall be directed to Plaintiff directly at: Elida Padron, 16484 East Rose Avenue, Reedley, California 93656. The docket shall also be updated to reflect Plaintiff's phone number as (559) 393-5985 and email address as padronelida@yahoo.com;
3. Within 30 days after entry of this Order, Kirkland Law of California shall provide Plaintiffs with a copy of his/her complete case file, if it has not already done so.
4. The Clerk is directed to mail Plaintiff Alfonso Padron and Plaintiff Elida Padron a copy of this order and the May 26 and 30, 2017 orders entered following the May 26 ...

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