Atkins v. Mabus

Filing 55

ORDER Granting 51 Grady and Associates' Motion to Withdraw as Counsel of Record for Plaintiff Gary Atkins. Attorney Dennis M Grady and Garrett A. Smee terminated. The Clerk of the Court shall indicate on the docket that Plaintiff is now proceeding pro se. Signed by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel on 2/27/17. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(dlg)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 GARY ATKINS, Case No.: 3:12-cv-01390-GPC-WVG Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER GRANTING GRADY AND ASSOCIATES’ MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL OF RECORD FOR PLAINTIFF GARY ATKINS RAYMOND E. MABUS, Secretary, Department of the Navy, 15 16 Defendant. [ECF No. 51.] 17 18 On February 2, 2017, Grady and Associates, counsel of record for Plaintiff Gary 19 Atkins (“Plaintiff”), filed a motion to withdraw as counsel of record on grounds that 20 Plaintiff has terminated the attorney-client relationship. (Dkt. No. 51.) No opposition 21 has been filed. The Court deems this motion suitable for disposition without oral 22 argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Having reviewed Defendant’s motion 23 and the applicable law, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Grady 24 and Associates’ motion to withdraw as counsel of record for Plaintiff. 25 26 27 28 1 3:12-cv-01390-GPC-WVG 1 DISCUSSION “An attorney may not withdraw as counsel except by leave of court.” Darby v. 2 3 City of Torrance, 810 F. Supp. 275, 276 (C.D. Cal. 1992). The trial court has discretion 4 whether to grant or deny an attorney’s motion to withdraw in a civil case. See La Grand 5 v. Stewart, 133 F.3d 1253, 1269 (9th Cir. 1998); Stewart v. Boeing Co., No. CV 12-5621 6 RSWL(AGRx), 2013 WL 3168269, at *1 (C.D. Cal. June 19, 2013). Courts should 7 consider the following factors when ruling upon a motion to withdraw as counsel: (1) the 8 reasons why withdrawal is sought; (2) the prejudice withdrawal may cause to other 9 litigants; (3) the harm withdrawal might cause to the administration of justice; and (4) the 10 degree to which withdrawal will delay the resolution of the case. Curtis v. Illumination 11 Arts, Inc., No. C12-0991JLR, 2014 WL 556010, at *4 (W.D. Wash. Feb. 12, 2014); Deal 12 v. Countrywide Home Loans, No. C09-01643 SBA, 2010 WL 3702459, at *2 (N.D. Cal. 13 Sept. 15, 2010). 14 Local Civil Rule 83.3(f)(3) also provides: 15 Withdrawals. (a) A notice of motion to withdraw as attorney of record must be served on the adverse party and on the moving attorney’s client. (b) A declaration pertaining to such service must be filed. Failure to make service as required by this section or to file the required declaration of service will result in a denial of the motion. 16 17 18 19 CivLR 83.3(f)(3). Here, Grady and Associates has filed a certificate of service which 20 indicates that the motion was served on his client and to opposing counsel. (Dkt. No. 51- 21 3.) 22 Rule 3-700 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of 23 California provides that an attorney may request a withdrawal if the client knowingly and 24 freely assents to termination of the employment. Cal. R. Prof. Conduct 3-700(C)(5). 25 26 27 28 2 3:12-cv-01390-GPC-WVG 1 According to the motion to withdraw, Plaintiff has terminated the attorney-client 2 relationship between himself and Grady and Associates, Plaintiff’s counsel of record. 3 (Dkt. No. 51-1.) Grady and Associates states that withdrawal should not cause undue 4 delay, as the depositions of the key witnesses have been rescheduled due to witness 5 unavailability. (Id.) 6 Based on the moving papers and a review of the case, the Court concludes that the 7 withdrawal will not prejudice litigants, harm the administration of justice, or unduly 8 delay the resolution of the case. No prejudice has been shown, as no party has opposed 9 the motion to withdraw. Based on the above, the Court GRANTS Grady and Associates’ 10 11 12 13 14 motion to withdraw as counsel of record for Plaintiff. The Clerk of the Court shall indicate on the docket that Plaintiff is now proceeding pro se with the following address and provide Plaintiff with a copy of this Order. Gary Atkins 704 Marbella Circle Chula Vista, CA 91910 15 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: February 27, 2017 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 3:12-cv-01390-GPC-WVG

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