United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING ATTORNEY KAREN FORD'S MOTION TO
WITHDRAW RE: DKT. NO. 220
J. DAVILA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Karen Ford, Plaintiff's attorney, first appeared as
counsel of record for Plaintiff on August 27, 2018. Dkt. 52.
For about one year and four months, Ms. Ford has been
Plaintiff's counsel. On December 14, 2019, Ms. Ford filed
a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record for Plaintiff.
Motion to Withdraw as Counsel (“Mot.”), Dkt. 220.
Ms. Ford argues that her request to withdraw as counsel is
supported by California Rule of Professional Conduct
1.16(b). Id. at 3.
Raja Kannan opposes Ms. Ford's Motion to Withdraw and
argues that he will be unduly burdened if the Court grants
the motion to withdraw. Plaintiff's Response in
Opposition to Plaintiff's Counsel's Motion to
Withdraw (“Opp.”), Dkt. 225. On December 27,
2019, Ms. Ford submitted a Reply to Plaintiff's
Opposition. Reply ISO Motion to Withdraw as Counsel
(“Reply”), Dkt. 226.
Apple Inc. does not oppose the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel.
Defendant Apple Inc.'s Statement of Non-Opposition, Dkt.
Court finds this motion suitable for consideration without
oral argument. See N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b).
Having considered the Plaintiff and Ms. Ford's papers,
the Court GRANTS Ms. Ford's Motion to
Withdraw as Plaintiff's counsel.
district, the conduct of counsel, including the withdrawal of
counsel, is governed by the standards of professional conduct
required of members of the State Bar of California. N.D. Cal.
Civ. L.R. 11-4(1). California Rule of Professional Conduct
1.16 provides that an attorney may request permission to
withdraw if a client is engaged in conduct that makes it
unreasonably difficult for the attorney to carry out
employment effectively or breaches an agreement or obligation
to pay expenses or fees.
attorney must receive leave of court to withdraw as counsel.
Darby v. City of Torrance, 810 F.Supp. 275, 276
(C.D. Cal. 1992). “The decision to grant or deny
counsel's motion to withdraw is committed to the
discretion of the trial court.” Irwin v.
Mascott, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28264, at *3 (N.D. Cal.
Dec. 1, 2004). A court ruling upon motions to withdraw as
(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.
Id. at *4.
Counsel Provided Reasonable Written Notice
must give their client and the other parties in the case
reasonable advance written notice of the intent to withdraw.
N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 11-5(a); Cal. R. Prof'l Conduct
Ms. Ford informed Plaintiff in October 2019 of her intent to
withdraw as counsel. Declaration of Counsel ISO Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel (“Ford Decl.”) ¶¶
8-11, Dkt. 220-1. She has repeatedly informed Plaintiff of
her need to withdraw and the reasons why-indeed, she sent
Plaintiff a ...