Workers Comp Solutions LLC, Liquidating Trust et al v. Daniel Romanski et al

Filing 43

Order by Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd CONDITIONALLY granting 41 plaintiff's attorney's Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Further Status Conference set for 10/24/2017 01:30 PM in Courtroom 2, 5th Floor, San Jose before Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd. (hrllc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/2/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 WORKERS COMP SOLUTIONS LLC, LIQUIDATING TRUST, 13 14 15 16 Plaintiff, v. DANIEL ROMANSKI, et al., Defendants. Case No.5:16-cv-06084-HRL ORDER CONDITIONALLY GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY’S MOTION TO WITHDRAW Re: Dkt. No. 41 17 18 Plaintiff Workers Comp Solutions LLC Liquidating Trust brought this action for alleged 19 violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, et seq. and state law claims. 20 Earlier this year, plaintiff filed for bankruptcy, and this court is told that this action is property of 21 the estate. Although not required to do so, the court stayed this matter for several months because 22 plaintiff’s counsel, Bruce Grego, advised that he only had limited authority to act in this lawsuit, 23 and for all practical purposes, plaintiff was without legal representation. Just prior to the most 24 recent status conference held on September 8, Grego filed the present motion for permission to 25 withdraw as counsel of record. The court has received no objections or oppositions to the motion, 26 and briefing on this matter is closed. As advised at the status conference, the motion is deemed 27 suitable for determination without oral argument. Civ. L.R. 71-(b). Upon consideration of the 28 moving papers, the court conditionally grants the motion as follows: 1 “Counsel may not withdraw from an action until relieved by order of Court after written 2 notice has been given reasonably in advance to the client and to all other parties who have 3 appeared in the case.” Civ. L.R. 11-5(a). “In the Northern District of California, the conduct of 4 counsel is governed by the standards of professional conduct required of members of the State Bar 5 of California, including the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California.” Hill 6 Design Group v. Wang, No. C04-521 JF (RS), 2006 WL 3591206 at *4 (N.D. Cal., Dec. 11, 2006) 7 (citing Elan Transdermal Limited v. Cygnus Therapeutic Systems, 809 F. Supp. 1383, 1387 (N.D. 8 Cal.1992)). Those standards provide that an attorney may seek permission to withdraw if, among 9 other things, the client’s conduct renders it unreasonably difficult for the attorney to represent the 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 client effectively. Id. (citing Cal. Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3-700(C)(1)(d),(f)). Here, Grego says that plaintiff has not been cooperating or communicating with him, 12 hampering his ability to proceed in this matter. In particular, Grego states that the bankruptcy 13 estate is controlled by the bankruptcy trustee; and, despite communications with the trustee’s 14 attorney, Grego says he has received no substantive communication or direction from the trustee’s 15 office about this matter. (Dkt. 41-2, Declaration of Bruce Grego). Defendant Daniel Romanski 16 advised that he does not oppose Grego’s motion. The record indicates that Grego served notice of 17 this motion on the trustee, the trustee’s attorney, and the debtor’s attorney. As noted above, the 18 court has received no response from any of them. 19 Finding sufficient grounds for withdrawal, the court grants the motion, subject to the 20 condition that papers may continue to be served on Grego for forwarding purposes, unless 21 and until plaintiff appears by other counsel or pro se. Civ. L.R. 11-5(b). 22 Further, plaintiff is advised that it may not appear pro se or through its corporate 23 officers, but must retain new counsel forthwith to represent it in this lawsuit. See Civ. L.R.3- 24 9(b) (“A corporation, unincorporated association, partnership or other such entity may appear only 25 through a member of the bar of this Court”); see also Rowland v. California Men’s Colony, 506 26 U.S. 194, 201-02 (1993) (“It has been the law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a 27 corporation may appear in the federal courts only through licensed counsel”); In Re Highley, 459 28 F.2d 554, 555 (9th Cir. 1972) (“A corporation can appear in a court proceeding only through an 2 1 2 attorney at law”). Accordingly, this court sets a further status conference for October 24, 2017, 1:30 p.m. If 3 new counsel has not made an appearance for plaintiff by that time, then absent a showing of good 4 cause, the court will have this case dismissed for lack of prosecution. 5 6 SO ORDERED. Dated: October 2, 2017 7 8 HOWARD R. LLOYD United States Magistrate 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 3

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