Hartley et al v. On My Own, Inc. et al
ORDER signed by District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on 11/03/17 GRANTING 24 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorneys Richard Anderson Hoyer and Ryan Lee Hicks terminated for Janice Taylor. (Benson, A.) Modified on 11/6/2017 (Benson, A.).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
AMBER HARTLEY and JANICE
ON MY OWN, INC.; ON MY OWN
COMMUNITY SERVICES; and ON MY
OWN INDEPENDENT LIVING
Counsel Richard A. Hicks, and the law firm Hicks & Hoyer, move to withdraw as
counsel for plaintiff Janice Taylor under Local Rule 182(d). Mot. Withdraw, ECF No. 24; Hicks
Decl., ECF No. 24-1. Defendants have not opposed the motion. For the following reasons, the
court GRANTS the motion to withdraw.
Under Local Rule 182(d), “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.” LR 182(d). The attorney must provide an
affidavit stating the current or last known address or addresses of the client and the efforts made
to notify the client of the motion to withdraw. Id. Withdrawal as AN attorney is governed by the
Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California, which permit counsel to withdraw
from representation if the client’s “conduct renders it unreasonably difficult for the [attorney] to carry
out the employment effectively.” Cal. R. Prof. Conduct 3-700(C)(1)(d). In seeking withdrawal,
counsel must take “reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the
client, including giving due notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other
counsel . . . complying with applicable laws and rules.” Cal. R. Prof. Conduct 3-700(C)(5). The
decision to grant or deny a motion to withdraw is within the court’s discretion. McNally v. Eye
Dog Found. for the Blind, Inc., No. 09-01184, 2011 WL 1087117, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 24,
2011) (citation omitted).
Here, movant seeks to withdraw on the grounds that plaintiff Taylor has not
responded to any communications from counsel in over six months. Mot. Withdraw ¶ 1 (explaining
last contact was in April, 2017). The latest communication warned Taylor “that further failure to
respond would require counsel to file the instant motion.” Id. Taylor’s unresponsiveness, counsel
avers, has made continued representation “unreasonably difficult for [counsel] to carry out the
employment effectively.” Id. ¶ 2 (citing Cal. Rule Prof. Conduct 3-700(C)(1)(d)). Counsel also
provides Taylor’s last known address, as required under Local Rule 182(d). Id. at 2 ¶ 4. Lastly,
counsel explains withdrawal will not prejudice Taylor, as (1) there are no upcoming hearings or due
dates necessitating plaintiff Taylor’s action; (2) Taylor’s entire case file is available for review and
copying should she obtain new counsel or choose to represent herself; and (3) counsel will, at
Taylor’s request, promptly release all of her papers and property. Id. at 4 (citing Cal. R. Prof.
The court finds withdrawal here is appropriate. Withdrawal does not appear to
prejudice defendants, and the court is satisfied counsel has taken all necessary steps to avoid
reasonably foreseeable prejudice to Taylor. Withdrawal is also unlikely to delay this case.
For these reasons, the court GRANTS the motion to withdraw.
This resolves ECF No. 24.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: November 3, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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