Esco Marine Inc. v. SS Pacific Star et al
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows on 9/12/11 GRANTING 137 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney and VACATING 144 Notice of Hearing on Motion. (Meuleman, A)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
ESCO MARINE INC.,
Civ. S-11-1353 KJM GGH
SS PACIFIC STAR,
Presently pending on this court’s law and motion calendar for September 15,
2011, is defense counsel Robert Sheppard’s motion to withdraw as counsel. There has been no
opposition. Having reviewed the motion to withdraw, the court finds that the matter is
appropriate for decision without oral argument. The court finds that withdrawal is appropriate
based on Mr. Sheppard’s representations.
Withdrawal of counsel is governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct of the
State Bar of California and the Local Rules of the United States District Court, Eastern District
of California. See Local Rule 182. The withdrawal of representation is permitted under the
Rules of Professional Conduct if “[t]he client knowingly and freely assents to termination of the
employment....” Cal. R.P.C. 3-700(C)(5). Local Rule 182 provides that “an attorney who has
appeared may not withdraw leaving the client in propria persona without leave of court upon
noticed motion and notice to the client and all other parties who have appeared.”
The decision to grant withdrawal is within the discretion of the Court and leave
“may be granted subject to appropriate conditions as the Court deems fit.” Local Rule 182(d). In
his declaration, defense counsel Sheppard states that he only agreed to appear for defense counsel
Furstman on a limited and temporary basis and then only made a special appearance for Furstman
when he was in the hospital. Clients Falche and SS Pacific Star have not paid him for nine
months and owe his firm over $35,000. According to Sheppard’s declaration, there have been
serious communications problems in that these clients have not responded to several dozen
emails sent by Mr. Sheppard, and have not returned over two dozen phone messages over the last
five months. Finally, Mr. Sheppard states that he and the other principals of his firm are not
members fo the Eastern District of California bar.
Good cause appearing, IT IS ORDERED that:
1. The September 15, 2011 hearing on the motion to withdraw as counsel is
2. Robert Sheppard’s motion to withdraw as counsel, filed August 12, 2011, (dkt.
no. 137), is granted.
DATED: September 12, 2011
/s/ Gregory G. Hollows
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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