Keung TSE v. eBay, Inc. et al

Filing 139

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW ATTORNEY by Judge Alsup finding as moot 135 Motion to Withdraw ; denying 138 Motion to Withdraw (whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/17/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 HO KEUNG TSE, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 No. C 11-01812 WHA Plaintiff, v. ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW ATTORNEY EBAY, INC., Defendant. / At the case management conference on July 28, 2011, attorney Deborah Barron made an 17 appearance for plaintiff, who previously had been proceeding pro se. Attorney Barron was 18 advised that she was “in the case for good now” and that “[o]nce you’re in . . . it’s very hard to 19 get out.” She responded, “I’m in for life, unless I die” (Dkt. No. 129 at 6). 20 On August 16 — less than three weeks later — plaintiff filed a “pro se” motion for 21 withdrawal of Attorney Barron. Plaintiff states that “recently I found Ms. Deborah Barron was 22 not performing her attorney duty properly and has to dismissed her” [sic]. Plaintiff recounts that 23 Attorney Barron’s assistant deleted quotations marks around certain sentences in a draft 24 opposition brief plaintiff provided, and then filed a version of the brief with the quotation marks 25 reinserted only at his insistence. Plaintiff complains that Attorney Barron “attempted to delete all 26 Plaintiff’s quotes” for no reason, and that she failed to defend the quotations against objections by 27 opposition counsel, advising him instead to withdraw the brief, file a corrected brief, or inform 28 the Court that the brief contained fabricated statements (Dkt. No. 138). 1 A motion to withdraw as counsel of record must be filed by the attorney seeking leave to 2 withdraw, not by his or her client. As plaintiff was advised in the order denying his improper 3 “pro se” motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration, when a party is represented by an 4 attorney, only the attorney may speak and make filings for the party. Plaintiff may not make any 5 more “pro se” filings while he is represented by counsel. Any such filings made in the future will 6 be stricken (see Dkt. No. 137). 7 Because plaintiff’s “pro se” motion for withdrawal of his attorney was procedurally proper motion for leave to withdraw in conformity with the local rules if she believes such a 10 motion is warranted. This order, however, does not comment on whether the circumstances 11 For the Northern District of California improper, the motion is DENIED. This denial is without prejudice to Attorney Barron filing a 9 United States District Court 8 described in plaintiff’s motion constitute good cause for withdrawal. 12 If plaintiff is dissatisfied with Attorney Barron, he should discuss her work with her. If 13 plaintiff concludes that he no longer wishes to be represented by Attorney Barron, then he should 14 formally discharge her services and request that she file a motion for leave to withdraw as counsel 15 of record. Plaintiff is advised, however, that if he opts to proceed without a lawyer, he will be 16 required to appear personally at every hearing in this action. Because plaintiff chose to sue in the 17 United States, the inconvenience of litigating this action from his home in Hong Kong will not be 18 an excuse for failure to attend hearings. Plaintiff also will not be allowed to appear by telephone 19 at any hearing in this action (see Dkt. No. 115). 20 21 IT IS SO ORDERED. 22 23 Dated: August 17, 2011. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 24 25 26 27 28 2

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