Butler v. Brown et al

Filing 104

ORDER by Judge Breyer granting 99 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. (crblc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/12/2018)

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1 2 3 4 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 ANDRE BUTLER, Plaintiff, 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Case No. 14-cv-04136-CRB ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL v. G. SALAZAR, et al., Re: Dkt. 99 Defendants. 13 Caroline Walters and Matthew Gelfand move to withdraw from representing Andre 14 Butler, the plaintiff in this case. The Court appointed Ms. Walters and Mr. Gelfand as pro 15 bono counsel to aid Mr. Butler in prosecuting his case after it denied in part the 16 Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Order Appointing Counsel (dkt. 46). It then 17 referred the case to a magistrate to conduct a settlement conference. Referral Order 18 (dkt. 51). Mr. Butler’s attorneys represent that Mr. Butler has refused to attend settlement 19 conferences, requiring those conferences to be rescheduled several times. Mot. to 20 Withdraw (dkt. 99); see also Minute Orders (dkts. 87, 88, 92, 93). Finally, the magistrate 21 held a conference, but was forced to terminate the conference when Mr. Butler failed to 22 attend. Minute Order (dkt. 96). Mr. Butler’s attorneys represent that Mr. Butler “ceased 23 responding to [them] entirely” in October 2017. Gelfand Decl. (dkt. 99-1) at ¶ 4. They 24 also represent that their client has been urging them to press arguments that are not 25 “warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, 26 or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(2); see 27 Gelfand Decl. at ¶ 8. 28 The Court held a hearing regarding the motion to withdraw on Feb. 23, 2018. Mr. 1 Gelfand was present at the hearing, and Mr. Butler appeared by phone. Mr. Butler 2 represented that he was not interested in attending a settlement conference, and that he 3 wished to press arguments that this Court has already rejected. His representations were 4 largely consistent with those of his attorneys. Accordingly, the Court finds that the 5 attorney-client relationship is irrevocably broken, and that good cause exists for Mr. 6 Butler’s attorney to withdraw. See Civ. Local R. 11-4(a)(1). It excuses Ms. Walters and 7 Mr. Gelfand from representing Mr. Butler. 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. 9 Dated: March 12, 2018 CHARLES R. BREYER United States District Judge 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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