Corfunding, LLC v. Elhag et al

Filing 34

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)

Download PDF
Case 3:19-cv-02038-BAS-MDD Document 34 Filed 10/14/20 PageID.257 Page 1 of 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 11 12 13 Case No. 19-cv-02038-BAS-MDD CORFUNDING, LLC, Plaintiff, v. ADAM ELHAG, et al., Defendants. ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE MOTION FOR LEAVE TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF (ECF No. 33) 14 15 Before the Court is Torrey Firm PC and Rebecca L. Torrey’s Motion to Withdraw 16 as counsel for Plaintiff Corfunding, LLC (“Corfunding”) in the above-captioned matter. 17 (ECF No. 33.) Ms. Torrey seeks to withdraw because of “an irreconcilable breakdown in 18 the attorney-client relationship” and has attached a declaration attesting to the same and to 19 the non-prejudicial nature of the Motion. (ECF No. 33-1.) 20 Parties generally may plead and conduct their own cases personally. 28 U.S.C. § 21 1654. However, “[o]nly natural persons representing their individual interests in propria 22 persona may appear in court without representation by an attorney.” Civ. L.R. 83.3(j). 23 “All other parties, including corporations, partnerships and other legal entities, may appear 24 in court only through an attorney permitted to practice pursuant to Civil Local Rule 83.3.” 25 Id.; see also Rowland v. Cal. Men’s Colony, 506 U.S. 194, 201–02 (1993) (“It has been the 26 law for the better part of two centuries . . . that a corporation may appear in the federal 27 courts only through licensed counsel . . . . [T]hat rule applies equally to all artificial 28 entities.”); United States v. High Country Broadcasting Co., Inc., 3 F.3d 1244, 1245 (9th -119cv2038 Case 3:19-cv-02038-BAS-MDD Document 34 Filed 10/14/20 PageID.258 Page 2 of 2 1 Cir. 1993) (affirming district court’s entry of default judgment against the corporation 2 when the corporation failed to retain counsel for the duration of the litigation and attempted 3 to proceed through its unlicensed president and sole shareholder); Greenspan v. Admin. 4 Office of the United States Courts, No. 14cv2396 JTM, 2014 WL 6847460, at *6 (N.D. 5 Cal. Dec. 4, 2014) (dismissing corporate plaintiffs for failure to obtain legal 6 representation). 7 Here, if Ms. Torrey is permitted to withdraw, Corfunding would be without counsel 8 in this action. No other counsel has appeared on behalf of Corfunding, and there is no 9 indication that retaining new counsel for Corfunding is imminent. Consequently, 10 permitting this withdrawal would leave Corfunding, an “artificial” legal entity, proceeding 11 without counsel in direct contravention to this district’s Civil Local Rules. See Civ. L.R. 12 83.3(j); Rowland, 506 U.S. at 201–02. Corfunding’s inability to retain counsel is, in turn, 13 likely to result in dismissal. See Greenspan, 2014 WL 6847460, at *6. 14 In light of the foregoing, the Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the motion 15 for leave to withdraw as counsel of record. (ECF No. 33.) In the event Corfunding retains 16 new counsel within the next thirty days, Ms. Torrey and her firm may immediately renew 17 their request to withdraw as counsel. However, if Corfunding is unable to retain new 18 counsel in anticipation of Ms. Torrey’s withdrawal within the next thirty days, Ms. Torrey 19 may file a renewed motion no earlier than November 16, 2020 to withdraw herself and 20 her firm as counsel of record. If a renewed motion is filed, it should describe the ongoing 21 efforts to seek new counsel in addition to the ongoing relationship with Corfunding and 22 include the appropriate declaration of service required by Local Civil Rule 83.3(f)(3)(b). 23 Corfunding is warned that if it cannot obtain new legal representation, this case is 24 likely to be dismissed. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 27 DATED: October 13, 2020 28 -219cv2038

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?