Arres, et al. vs. The City of Fresno, et al.
ORDER Directing Additional Briefing in Support of Attorneys' Motions for Leave to Withdraw as Counsel for Plaintiff Benicia Fuentes [Docs. 33 and 34]: - submit supplemental briefs on or before 10/7/2011. signed by Magistrate Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 9/22/2011. (Herman, H)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
BENICIA FUENTES as Guardian ad Litem
of minors, L.G. and J.G. as successors
in interest to Decedent,
CASE NO. 1:10-cv-01628-LJO-SMS
ORDER DIRECTING ADDITIONAL
BRIEFING IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEYS’
MOTIONS FOR LEAVE TO WITHDRAW AS
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF BENICIA
THE CITY OF FRESNO, et al.,
(Docs. 33 and 34)
On August 22, 2011, attorneys Yan Shrayberman and Mario DiSalvo, counsel for
Plaintiff Benicia Fuentes, Guardian ad Litem of minors, L.G. and J.G., filed individual actions to
withdraw as counsel as a result of their inability to locate their client. Defendants have filed a
statement of non-opposition.
Local Rule 83-182(d) provides, in pertinent part, “Withdrawal as attorney is governed by
the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California, and the attorney shall conform
to the requirements of those Rules.” Generally, inability to locate the client is grounds for
withdrawal from representation under C.R.C.P. 3-700(B). Cal. State Bar Formal Ops. 1989-111,
2002-160; Los Angeles Bar Ass’n Formal Op. 441 (1987). In this case, however, Benicia
Fuentes is not bringing the law suit individually, but is acting as guardian ad litem for minors
L.G. and J.G. A guardian ad litem cannot represent the minors without counsel. Mossanen v.
Monfared, 77 Cal. App.4th 1402, 1409 (2000).
When a guardian ad litem retains counsel for a minor, the attorney-client relationship
exists with the minor, not the guardian. Paul W. Vapnek, et al., California Practice Guide
Professional Responsibility § 3:122 (Rutter Group 2009). See Berry v. Chaplin, 74 Cal.App.2d
652, 657 (1946). A court errs if it permits counsel to withdraw before new counsel for a minor is
retained. Mossanen, 77 Cal App.4th at 1410; Torres v. Friedman, 169 Cal.App.3d 880, 888
Neither Mossanen nor Torres considered a fact situation in which an attorney sought to
withdraw from a case because he or she could not locate the guardian ad litem. Accordingly,
Plaintiffs’ counsel are hereby directed to submit supplemental briefs on or before October 7,
2011, addressing with specificity the appropriate procedure to be followed to ensure protection of
the rights of the minor Plaintiffs, L.G. and J.G. The matter shall then be deemed submitted for
decision pursuant to Local Rule 230(h) (Fed. R. Civ. P. 78).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
September 22, 2011
/s/ Sandra M. Snyder
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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