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Spann v. North Carolina Department of Public Safety

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

December 6, 2017

RONALD WAYNE SPANN, Plaintiff,
v.
NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Dennis L. Howell United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Counsel-Kristin Harmon Lang's Motion to Withdraw as Attorney [# 54]. In support of the motion, Plaintiff's Counsel states that she has obtained consent from Plaintiff's mother. The motion does not reflect Plaintiff has given written consent to the withdrawal of his attorney. The motion does not show that Plaintiff had any prior knowledge or notice of the proposed withdrawal. Plaintiff's Counsel does not state whether she attempted to contact Defendants' counsel prior to filing her motion to withdraw.

         On November 20, 2017, Defendant Uhren filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution and a Motion to Compel Discovery [# 48]. On December 5, 2017, Plaintiff's Counsel filed her Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Plaintiff's reply to the motion to dismiss is due December 7, 2017. Plaintiff's Counsel has yet to reply to the motion.

         Discussion.

         LCvR 83.1(F) states as follows:

(F) Withdrawal of Counsel. In support of a motion, counsel seeking to withdraw shall electronically file written consent of their client to their withdrawal which shall become effective, however, only upon court approval. Absent consent of the client, withdrawal may be obtained by electronically filing a motion to withdraw showing good cause for the withdrawal. This motion is to include the last known address of the client. Even in the absence of consent, withdrawal may still be allowed upon good cause shown.

LCvR 83.1(F) (emphasis added).

         Withdrawal of counsel is also governed under the rules as set forth by the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically Rule 1.16. Plaintiff's Counsel has not referenced the specific provision of the rule under which her motion to withdraw is being made. A review of those rules shows the following would be applicable.

         RULE 1.16: DECLINING OR TERMINATING REPRESENTATION

(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:
(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client; or
(2) the client knowingly and freely assents to the termination of the representation; or
(7) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden or the lawyer or has been rendered ...

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