SUBJECT: Motion to be relieved as counsel

Moving Party: Law Offices of Thomas J. Weiss, counsel of record for plaintiff Lucerne Valley, LLC

Resp. Party: None


The motion to be relieved is GRANTED.


BACKGROUND:

Plaintiff commenced this action on 8/18/15 against defendants for: (1) vacate trustee’s deed of sale; (2) vacate trustee’s deed of sale; (3) quiet title; (4) breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty; (5) fraud; and (6) violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200. The actions pertain to plaintiff’s agreement with Sunrise to secure refinancing of loans plaintiff had with other lenders.


ANALYSIS:

An attorney moving to be relieved as counsel under California Code of Civil Procedure section 284(2) must meet the requirements set out in California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362. To comply with rule 3.1362, the moving party must submit the following forms: (1) Notice of Motion and Motion to be Relieved as Counsel; (2) Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel; and (3) Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(a), (c), (e).) The moving party must serve the aforementioned forms on the client and all other parties who have appeared in the case. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(d).) Further, when the client is served by mail, the attorney's declaration must show that the client's address was confirmed within the last 30 days and how it was confirmed. (Ibid.)

The instant motion includes a notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order. Counsel provides proof of service on defendants and plaintiff.

The attorney in an action may be relieved at any time before or after judgment or final determination either upon consent of both client and attorney, or upon order of the court. (Code Civ. Proc., § 284.) A motion to be relieved as counsel under Code Civ. Proc., section 284, subd. (2) must comply with the requirements set forth in Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362. Specifically, the accompanying declaration "must state in general terms and without compromising the confidentiality of the attorney client relationship why a motion under Code of Civil Procedure section 284(2) is brought instead of filing a consent under Code of Civil Procedure section 284(1)." (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(c).)

Even if all of the requirements are met, "the court has discretion to deny an attorney's request to withdraw where such withdrawal would work an injustice or cause undue delay in the proceeding." (Mandell v. Superior Court (1977) 67 Cal.App.3d 1, 4.)

Counsel declares that plaintiff has not paid fees and costs as agreed in their retainer agreement, and counsel and plaintiff have material disagreements which impair effective representation.

There is no showing that withdrawal at this time would prejudice the parties. Trial is set for April 2017.

The motion to be relieved is GRANTED. Counsel is to remind his client that this case was filed on August 8, 2015; trial was originally set for December 5, 2016 and has been continued to April 10, 2017. The court is not inclined to further continue the trial.