Beal et al v. Royal Oak Bar et al

Filing 36

ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANTS' COUNSEL'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 4/28/2014. (lblc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/28/2014)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 Northern District of California 10 San Francisco Division MICHAEL BEAL, et al., 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 Plaintiffs, 13 v. 14 ROYAL OAK BAR, et al., 15 No. C 13-04911 LB ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANTS’ COUNSEL’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW [Re: ECF No. 25] Defendants. _____________________________________/ 16 Defendants Royal Oak Bar and Ares Papageorge (collectively, “Defendants”) are represented by 17 attorney Russell Robinson. On April 7, 2014, Mr. Robinson moved to withdraw as Defendants’ 18 counsel because his relationship with his clients is “in shambles.” Motion to Withdraw, ECF No. 25 19 at 2.1 He says that Katherine Papageorge, the owner of the Royal Oak Bar, “is trying,” through him, 20 “to practice law without a license.” Id. And he says that he “has expressly been instructed not to 21 perform any further work on behalf of” Mr. Papageorge. Id. at 3. 22 Under Civil Local Rule 11-5(a), “[c]ounsel may not withdraw from an action until relieved by 23 order of Court after written notice has been given reasonably in advance to the client and to all other 24 parties who have appeared in the case.” The local rules further provide that if the client does not 25 consent to the withdrawal and no substitution of counsel is filed, the motion to withdraw shall be 26 27 1 28 Citations are to the Electronic Case File (“ECF”) with pin cites to the electronic page number at the top of the document, not the pages at the bottom. C 13-04911 LB ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO WITHDRAW 1 granted on the condition that all papers from the court and from the opposing party shall continue to 2 be served on that party’s current counsel for forwarding purposes until the client appears by other 3 counsel or pro se if the client is not a corporate defendant. N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 11-5(b). 4 Withdrawal is governed by the California Rules of Professional Conduct. See Nehad v. 5 Mukasey, 535 F.3d 962, 970 (9th Cir. 2008) (applying California Rules of Professional Conduct to 6 attorney withdrawal); j2 Global Commc’ns, Inc. v. Blue Jay, Inc., No. C 08-4254 PHJ, 2009 WL 7 464768, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 24, 2009) (citation omitted). California Rule of Professional Conduct 8 3-700(C) sets forth several grounds under which an attorney may request permission to withdraw. 9 See Cal. Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 3-700(C). can use “its discretion to deny an attorney’s request to withdraw where such withdrawal would work 12 For the Northern District of California The decision to grant or deny a motion to withdraw is discretionary with the court, and the court 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 an injustice or cause undue delay in the proceeding.” Gong v. City of Alameda, No. C 03-05495 13 TEH, 2008 WL 160964, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2008) (citing Mandel v. Superior Court, 67 Cal. 14 App. 3d 1, 4 (1977)) (holding there was no prejudice or undue delay to client where counsel 15 provided sufficient notice of its intent to withdraw and where no trial date had yet been set in the 16 case). 17 The court issues this order to appraise counsel and the parties of the legal standard (described 18 above) and to reiterate that the motion will be heard at 9:30 a.m. on May 15, 2014 (even though 19 Plaintiffs did not file an opposition to Defendants’ counsel’s motion). The court ORDERS Mr. 20 Robinson, Mr. Papageorge, and Ms. Papageorge to appear at the hearing in person. Mr. Robinson 21 SHALL serve this order on Mr. Papageorge and Ms. Papageorge and advise them of the need to 22 appear at the May 15, 2014 hearing in person. Plaintiffs, on the other hand, may appear at the 23 hearing by telephone through CourtCall, if they so desire. 24 The court also wishes to notify the parties that they should be prepared to discuss their 25 mandatory appearances at the May 27, 2014 settlement conference before Judge Cousins. 26 27 28 C 13-04911 LB ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO WITHDRAW 2 1 2 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 28, 2014 _______________________________ LAUREL BEELER United States Magistrate Judge 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 C 13-04911 LB ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO WITHDRAW 3

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