Stinson v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC

Filing 23

ORDER signed by District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. on 6/29/2017 GRANTING 18 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney; RELIEVING Mellen Law Firm as counsel of record for the plaintiff effective upon the filing of proof of service of this order on the plaintiff at his last known address; ORDERING that all further communications with the plaintiff be directed to said address. (Michel, G.)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MICHAEL STINSON, an individual, 12 13 14 15 Plaintiff, v. 18 19 ORDER SPECIALIZED LOAN SERVICING, LLC and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants. 16 17 No. 2:16-cv-01903-MCE-GGH Presently before the Court is the Mellen Law Firm’s unopposed Motion to Withdraw as Plaintiff’s Counsel of Record.1 Mot., ECF No. 18. This Motion is governed by the requirements of Eastern District of California Local 20 Rule 182(d), which provides that an attorney may not withdraw, leaving the client in 21 propria persona, absent a noticed motion, appropriate affidavits, notice to the client and 22 all other parties who have appeared, and compliance with the Rules of Professional 23 Conduct of the State Bar of California. California Rule of Professional Conduct 24 3-700(C)(6) permits a member of the State Bar to seek to withdraw from representation 25 when “[t]he member believes in good faith . . . that the tribunal will find the existence of 26 . . . good cause for withdrawal.” However, “[a] member shall not withdraw from 27 1 28 Because oral argument will not be of material assistance, the Court orders this matter submitted on the briefing. E.D. Cal. Local R. 230(g). 1 1 employment until the member has taken reasonable steps to avoid reasonably 2 foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client, including giving due notice to the client, 3 allowing time for employment of other counsel, . . . and complying with applicable laws 4 and rules.” Cal. R. of Professional Conduct 3-700(A)(2). Whether to grant leave to 5 withdraw is subject to the sound discretion of the Court and “may be granted subject to 6 such appropriate conditions as the Court deems fit.” E.D. Cal. Local R. 182(d); 7 Canandaigua Wine Co., Inc. v. Edwin Moldauer, No. 1:02-cv-06599 OWW DLB, 2009 8 WL 89141, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 14, 2009). 9 The Court finds that Counsel has complied with the requirements of Local 10 Rule 182(d). Counsel has properly noticed the present Motion with notice to Plaintiff and 11 to all other parties appearing in the action. See Mot., ECF No. 18. Counsel’s 12 declaration states, and his proof of service confirms, that Counsel had Plaintiff served 13 with the Motion at his last known address. See id.; Mellen Decl. ¶ 4. Counsel also 14 provides that he notified Plaintiff of the Motion via email and telephone, and that the 15 Motion was then served via email, which had “been used numerous times for 16 communication with Plaintiff.” Mellen Decl. ¶ 4. 17 As grounds for withdrawal, Counsel provides that “there has been a breakdown in 18 the attorney client relationship which has made it difficult for the Mellen Law Firm to 19 continue its representation of Michael Stinson.” Id. ¶ 3. The exact circumstances or 20 causes of the breakdown in Plaintiff and Counsel’s relationship are unclear to the Court. 21 In light of Counsel’s representation that divulging details might jeopardize the attorney 22 client privilege, however, in addition to Plaintiff’s failure to file anything with the Court 23 indicating he is opposed to Counsel’s withdrawal, the Court is persuaded that Counsel 24 has shown good cause for withdrawal. Additionally, a review of the docket reveals 25 nothing indicating that withdrawal might prejudice Plaintiff—i.e., there are no pending 26 motions, no imminent trial date, and no other apparent deadlines that should prevent 27 Counsel’s withdrawal. 28 /// 2 1 For these reasons, the Motion to Withdraw (ECF No. 18) is GRANTED. The 2 Mellen Law Firm is relieved as counsel of record for Plaintiff effective upon the filing of 3 proof of service of this signed Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff at his last known 4 address: 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Michael Stinson 1780 Birchwood Lane Tracy, CA 95376 Telephone: 510-569-2711 Further, all communications to Plaintiff, now acting pro se in this case, shall be directed to Plaintiff at the contact information listed above. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 29, 2017 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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