Kastler v. Oh My Green, Inc. et al

Filing 61

CORRECTED 60 ORDER GRANTING 55 MOTION TO WITHDRAW. Signed by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. on 11/18/2020. (ndrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/18/2020)

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Case 4:19-cv-02411-HSG Document 61 Filed 11/18/20 Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ANNE KASTLER, Plaintiff, 8 v. 9 10 CORRECTED ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO WITHDRAW Re: Dkt. No. 55 OH MY GREEN, INC., Defendant. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 19-cv-02411-HSG 12 13 Pending before the Court is a motion to withdraw as counsel filed by Javier Torres, 14 attorney for Defendant Oh My Green, Inc (“Oh My Green”). Dkt. No. 55. The motion came on 15 for hearing on November 13, 2020. For the reasons set forth below, the unopposed motion is 16 GRANTED subject to the conditions described below. 17 18 I. DISCUSSION Javier Torres seeks to withdraw as counsel for Oh My Green on the basis that the attorney- 19 client relationship “has deteriorated to the point where it is impossible for Torres to . . . take the 20 necessary litigation strategies and steps to continue to pursue and protect Oh My Green’s best 21 interests, in part because Torres has not received necessary information from Oh My Green.” Id. 22 at 2–3. Javier Torres also indicates that Oh My Green has failed to abide by the written agreement 23 between Oh My Green and Stinson LLP. Id. at 2. 24 In this district, “[c]ounsel may not withdraw from an action until relieved by order of 25 Court after written notice has been given reasonably in advance to the client and to all other 26 parties who have appeared in the case.” Civ. L.R. 11-5(a). Moreover, “[w]hen withdrawal by an 27 attorney from an action is not accompanied by simultaneous appearance of substitute counsel or 28 agreement of the party to appear pro se, leave to withdraw may be subject to the condition that Case 4:19-cv-02411-HSG Document 61 Filed 11/18/20 Page 2 of 3 1 papers may continue to be served on counsel for forwarding purposes, unless and until the client 2 appears by other counsel or pro se.” Civ. L.R. 11-5(b). 3 Withdrawal is also governed by the California Rules of Professional Conduct. See j2 Glob. Commc’ns, Inc. v. Blue Jay, Inc., No. C 08-4254PJH, 2009 WL 464768, at *1 (N.D. Cal. 5 Feb. 24, 2009)). Under these rules, permissive withdrawal may be granted only by leave of the 6 Court. CA ST RPC, Rule 3-700(A)(1). The rules provide for permissive withdrawal on various 7 grounds, including when “[t]he client . . . breaches an agreement or obligation to the member as to 8 expenses or fees.” Id., Rule 3-700(C)(1). But an attorney may not withdraw before he or she “has 9 taken reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client, 10 including giving due notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 4 complying with rule 3-700(D), and complying with applicable laws and rules.” Id., Rule 3- 12 700(A)(2); see also id., Rule 3-700(D) (regarding the refund of fees and the release of property 13 and papers). 14 More broadly, courts assessing a motion to withdraw engage in a balancing of the equities, 15 considering such factors as why counsel seeks to withdraw and whether permitting withdrawal 16 may prejudice other litigants, harm the administration of justice, or delay the case’s resolution. 17 See Robinson v. Delgado, No. CV 02-1538 NJV, 2010 WL 3259384, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 18, 18 2010) (citing cases). 19 Javier Torres’ request to withdraw satisfies the applicable local rules. Javier Torres 20 informed Oh My Green in writing of the pertinent deadlines in the case and provided notice to Oh 21 My Green and Plaintiff of the administrative motion to withdraw. Dkt. No. 55-1 (“Torres Decl.”). 22 At the November 13 hearing, a client representative indicated that Oh My Green does not oppose 23 the motion. Similarly, Plaintiff does not oppose the motion. Dkt. No. 57. Based on the record 24 before the Court, the Court is persuaded that counsel filed the motion with a good faith belief that 25 there is good cause for withdrawal. 26 As a business entity, Oh My Green may appear in federal court only through counsel. See 27 In re Am. W. Airlines, 40 F.3d 1058, 1059 (9th Cir. 1994) (per curiam); Civ. L.R. 3-9(b). 28 Consequently, Oh My Green must obtain new counsel within 30 days of this Order. During this 2 Case 4:19-cv-02411-HSG Document 61 Filed 11/18/20 Page 3 of 3 1 period, the Court directs Javier Torres to accept service of papers for forwarding to Oh My Green 2 unless and until Oh my Green appears by other counsel. See Civil L.R. 11-5(b). 3 II. Accordingly, Javier Torres’ motion to withdraw as counsel for Defendant is GRANTED, 4 5 CONCLUSION subject to the foregoing conditions.1 And the Court STAYS all deadlines for 30 days. 6 This order terminates Dkt. No. 55. 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 Dated: 11/18/2020 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge 9 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 1 The previous order indicated that the motion to withdraw as counsel for Plaintiff, instead of counsel for Defendant, was granted. 3

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