USA v. Gross et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that attorney Watson's motion to withdraw as counsel of record [Record No. 22 ] is DENIED. Signed by Judge Danny C. Reeves on 11/13/2023. (APR) cc: COR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
REMONA LISA GROSS, et al.,
Civil Action No. 6: 17-340-DCR
Plaintiff’s counsel, James S. Watson, has filed a motion seeking to withdraw as counsel
of record. [Record No. 22] Watson advises that his contract period with the plaintiff has ended
and the plaintiff has instructed him to cease working on the case. Although Watson states that
he does not know when another attorney will be appointed, he informs the Court that he intends
to rebid the foreclosure work.
A review of the history of this matter is necessary. The plaintiff initiated this real estate
foreclosure action on December 19, 2017. [Record No. 1] The undersigned entered a default
judgment and order of sale on March 30, 2018. [Record No. 21] Since that time, there has
been no activity and the matter has been continued for confirmation of the sale of the property
at issue, distribution of the sales proceeds, and for any necessary orders and judgments.
Watson has been representing Plaintiff the entire time.
Pursuant to Local Rule 83.6, an attorney of record may withdraw from a case only after
making a showing of good cause and with the Court’s consent to the withdrawal on whatever
terms the Court chooses to impose. The decision to permit the withdrawal “is committed to
the sound discretion of the trial court and is entitled to deference . . . .” Martel v. Clair, 565
U.S. 648, 663–64 (2012). Here, there is no indication that the United States is dissatisfied with
Watson or that they are “embroiled in irreconcilable differences.” See United States v. Iles,
906 F.2d 1122, 1132 (6th Cir. 1990). Instead, the motion indicates that Watson’s contract
period has ended and that he intends to “rebid the foreclosure work.” [Record No. 22]
Whatever the plaintiff’s “administrative justification” for rebidding the role of counsel after
five years, it does not constitute good cause. Period.
One of the factors that the Court considers when addressing a motion to withdraw as
counsel is “the public’s interest in the prompt and efficient administration of justice.” See
United States v. Williams, 176 F.3d 301, 314 (6th Cir. 1999); United States v. Jennings, 83 F.3d
145, 148 (6th Cir. 1996). And as noted above, this case has been in a state of continuance for
over five years. Granting the motion to withdraw would leave the plaintiff unrepresented for
an unknown period, adding further unnecessary delays.
Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that attorney Watson’s motion to withdraw as counsel of record [Record
No. 22] is DENIED.
Dated: November 13, 2023.
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