Judge: Jill Feeney, Case: 19STCV09345, Date: 2022-08-04 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 19STCV09345    Hearing Date: August 4, 2022    Dept: 30

Department 30, Spring Street Courthouse
August 4, 2022
Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel filed by Irving Pedroza, counsel to Plaintiff Ruben Ramos


The motion is continued.

The proposed MC-053 needs to be corrected as follows: (1) Box 5a must be checked and (2) Item 6: an address and phone number must be provided.

The parties are ordered to appear at the hearing to discuss a continued hearing date with the Judicial Assistant.

A corrected MC-053 must be filed at least five court days in advance of the continued hearing.

Counsel Pedroza to provide notice to Plaintiff and to opposing counsel and to file proof of service of such notice within five court days after the date of this order.


On March 18, 2019, Plaintiff Ruben Ramos (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Defendant”).  Plaintiff alleges negligence and premises liability arising from a slip-and-fall that occurred on March 21, 2017. 

On May 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint.

On July 18, 2022, Plaintiff’s counsel filed an Ex Parte Application to Shorten Time for Hearing on Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel for Plaintiff or in the Alternative to Continue Trial and all Trial Related Dates. Trial was continued to October 25, 2022. Counsel was ordered to properly file his appearance.

On July 21, 2022, Counsel Irving Pedroza filed his motion to be relieved as counsel.

Moving Arguments 
Counsel seeks a court order relieving him as counsel of record for Plaintiff Ruben Ramos on the grounds that the attorney-client relationship has broken down. No opposition to this motion has been filed. 

Legal Standard 
California Rules of Court (“CRC”), rule 3.1362 (Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel) requires: (1) notice of motion and motion to be directed to the client (made on the Notice of Motion and Motion to be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-051)); (2) a declaration stating in general terms and without compromising the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship why a motion under CCP § 284(2) is brought instead of filing a consent under CCP § 284(1) (made on the Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-052)); (3) service of the notice of motion, motion, and declaration on all other parties who have appeared in the case; and (4) the proposed order relieving counsel (prepared on the Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-053)). 
The court has discretion to allow an attorney to withdraw, and such a motion should be granted provided that there is no prejudice to the client, and it does not disrupt the orderly process of justice. (See Ramirez v. Sturdevant (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 904, 915.) Withdrawal is generally permitted unless there is a compelling reason to continue the representation. (Heple v. Kluge (1951) 104 Cal.App.2d 461, 462.) There is a compelling reason when the withdrawal would prejudice the client, the other parties in the action, or a third party. (People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398, 406; Linn v. Superior Court in and for Los Angeles County (1926) 79 Cal.App. 721, 725.) 


Counsel seeks to be relieved as counsel for Plaintiff Ruben Ramos.

Counsel filed a notice of name change and notice of change in handling attorney specifying the handling attorney on this case is Irving Pedroza. Counsel complied with the Court’s July 18, 2022 order by properly filing his appearance.

Counsel filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (MC-051), Declaration in Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (MC-052), and Proposed Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (MC-053) on all appropriate forms, as outlined within California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subdivisions (a), (c), and (e). (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (a), (c), (e).)
Counsel properly served his motion by mail at Plaintiff’s address which he confirmed by conversation within 30 days of filing his motion. (MC-052, Item #3(a)(2).)  The Court is also satisfied that Counsel has a compelling reason to withdraw as counsel given the breakdown of the attorney-client relationship. (Amended MC-052, Item #2) 

Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by Counsel’s withdrawal. At the July 18, 2022 hearing on Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application, trial was continued to October 25, 2022. The Final Status Conference is set for October 12, 2022. If requested by Plaintiff, the Court will grant a continuance of the trial date to enable Plaintiff to retain new counsel or to prepare the case pro per. Hence, there will be no prejudice.

However, there are issues with the proposed MC-053 which prevent the granting of the motion at this time.