United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER CONCERNING MOTION TO WITHDRAW
ROBERTO A. LANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case arises out of a May 2017 semi-truck accident. Doc. 1-3.
Plaintiffs' attorney filed a motion to withdraw asking
this Court to give the plaintiffs sixty days to find
substitute counsel and to stay all proceedings during that
period. Doc. 12. Defendant filed a response stating that
efforts to obtain medical records and take depositions have
been delayed by a lack of response from the Plaintiffs. Doc.
13. Concerned that discovery will become even more difficult
if Plaintiffs' counsel is allowed to withdraw, Defendant
asks this Court to either 1) dismiss the case without
prejudice immediately; or 2) give the Plaintiffs sixty days
to advise the Court of new counsel representing them and
dismiss the case without prejudice if they fail to do so.
motion to withdraw filed by Plaintiffs' attorney appears
to be deficient in not revealing notice given to the clients
consistent with the rules of this Court. This Court's
Local Rules concerning withdrawal of counsel without
substitution of new counsel, which is what Plaintiffs'
attorney seeks, provide:
Withdrawal without substitution may be granted only upon
motion, for good cause shown. Notice of the motion must be
provided to the client by the withdrawing attorney.
D.S.D. Civ. LR 83.7(C). Plaintiffs' attorney's
one-page motion does not mention anything about notice of the
motion to withdraw being provided to his clients. Doc. 12.
The page attached to the motion contains a certificate of
service attesting to service only on the Defendant's
attorney. Nothing in the CM/ECF record in this case reflects
notice of the motion to withdraw being provided to Plaintiffs
terms of the "good cause" requirement of D.S.D.
Civ. LR 83.7(C), the American Bar Association (ABA) Model
Code of Professional Conduct as adopted by South Dakota
guides the t determination of what
constitutes "good cause." See Hakim v.
Leonhardt, 126 Fed.Appx. 25, 26 (2d Cir. 2005)
(referring to ABA Model Code provisions in evaluating
counsel's conflict of interest); Whiting v.
Lacara, 187 F.3d 317, 321 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam).
Rule 1.16 of the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct
covers terminating representation:
Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not
represent a client or, where representation has commenced,
shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:
(1) the representation will result in violation of the Rules
of Professional conduct or other law;
(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially
impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client; or
(3) the lawyer is discharged.
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;
(2) the client persists in a course of action involving the
lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is