Corfunding, LLC v. Elhag et al
ORDER Denying Without Prejudice Motion for Leave to Withdraw as Counsel for Plaintiff (ECF No. 33 ). If Corfunding is unable to retain new counsel in anticipation of Ms. Torrey's withdrawal within the next thirty days, Ms. Torreymay file a renewed motion no earlier than 11/16/20. Signed by Judge Cynthia Bashant on 10/13/20. (jmo)
Case 3:19-cv-02038-BAS-MDD Document 34 Filed 10/14/20 PageID.257 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No. 19-cv-02038-BAS-MDD
ADAM ELHAG, et al.,
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT
PREJUDICE MOTION FOR LEAVE
TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL
(ECF No. 33)
Before the Court is Torrey Firm PC and Rebecca L. Torrey’s Motion to Withdraw
as counsel for Plaintiff Corfunding, LLC (“Corfunding”) in the above-captioned matter.
(ECF No. 33.) Ms. Torrey seeks to withdraw because of “an irreconcilable breakdown in
the attorney-client relationship” and has attached a declaration attesting to the same and to
the non-prejudicial nature of the Motion. (ECF No. 33-1.)
Parties generally may plead and conduct their own cases personally. 28 U.S.C. §
1654. However, “[o]nly natural persons representing their individual interests in propria
persona may appear in court without representation by an attorney.” Civ. L.R. 83.3(j).
“All other parties, including corporations, partnerships and other legal entities, may appear
in court only through an attorney permitted to practice pursuant to Civil Local Rule 83.3.”
Id.; see also Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 201–02 (1993) (“It has been the
law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a corporation may appear in the federal
courts only through licensed counsel . . . . [T]hat rule applies equally to all artificial
entities.”); United States v. High Country Broadcasting Co., Inc., 3 F.3d 1244, 1245 (9th
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Cir. 1993) (affirming district court’s entry of default judgment against the corporation
when the corporation failed to retain counsel for the duration of the litigation and attempted
to proceed through its unlicensed president and sole shareholder); Greenspan v. Admin.
Office of the United States Courts, No. 14cv2396 JTM, 2014 WL 6847460, at *6 (N.D.
Cal. Dec. 4, 2014) (dismissing corporate plaintiffs for failure to obtain legal
Here, if Ms. Torrey is permitted to withdraw, Corfunding would be without counsel
in this action. No other counsel has appeared on behalf of Corfunding, and there is no
indication that retaining new counsel for Corfunding is imminent. Consequently,
permitting this withdrawal would leave Corfunding, an “artificial” legal entity, proceeding
without counsel in direct contravention to this district’s Civil Local Rules. See Civ. L.R.
83.3(j); Rowland, 506 U.S. at 201–02. Corfunding’s inability to retain counsel is, in turn,
likely to result in dismissal. See Greenspan, 2014 WL 6847460, at *6.
In light of the foregoing, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the motion
for leave to withdraw as counsel of record. (ECF No. 33.) In the event Corfunding retains
new counsel within the next thirty days, Ms. Torrey and her firm may immediately renew
their request to withdraw as counsel. However, if Corfunding is unable to retain new
counsel in anticipation of Ms. Torrey’s withdrawal within the next thirty days, Ms. Torrey
may file a renewed motion no earlier than November 16, 2020 to withdraw herself and
her firm as counsel of record. If a renewed motion is filed, it should describe the ongoing
efforts to seek new counsel in addition to the ongoing relationship with Corfunding and
include the appropriate declaration of service required by Local Civil Rule 83.3(f)(3)(b).
Corfunding is warned that if it cannot obtain new legal representation, this case is
likely to be dismissed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: October 13, 2020
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