Judge: Jill Feeney, Case: 22STCV32431, Date: 2023-03-08 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22STCV32431    Hearing Date: March 8, 2023    Dept: 30

Department 30, Spring Street Courthouse
March 8, 2023

22STCV32431

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel filed by Daniel E. Selarz, Counsel for Plaintiff Emmanuel Nolasco

DECISION

The motion is granted.

Counsel to serve the signed MC-053 on Plaintiff.  Proof of service to be filed with the Court within five court days after the date of this order.

The Court's Ruling and
Attorney's relief as Counsel of record for client is not effective until Proof
of Service of the Order signed by the Court upon the client is filed in this
action.  Until then, counsel continues to
be counsel of record.  Cal. Rules of
Court 3.1362(e). 

Since Plaintiff’s residence has not been confirmed, in addition to serving Plaintiff at their last known address, Counsel must also serve Plaintiff by delivering a signed copy of the MC-053 to the clerk of the Court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1011(b)(3). The papers must be enclosed in an envelope addressed to Plaintiff in the care of the clerk pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.252(a). The information required by California Rule of Court 3.252(b) shall be provided on the back of the envelope.     

Background

This is an action for negligence arising from a vehicle collision which took place in October 2020. Plaintiff Emmanuel Nolasco filed his Complaint against Joseph Angel Valle, Jose Angel Valle Perez, Efrain Preciado, and Cecilia Preciado Arellano on October 4, 2022.

On January 9, 2023, Daniel E. Selarz filed the instant motion to be relieved as counsel.

Summary

Moving Arguments

Counsel Daniel E. Selarz seeks to be relieved as counsel for Plaintiff. Counsel cites a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship that stands in the way of effective representation.

Opposing Arguments

None.

Legal Standard

“The question of granting or denying an application of an attorney to withdraw as counsel (Code Civ. Proc., § 284, subd. (2)) is one which lies within the sound discretion of the trial court ‘having in mind whether such withdrawal might work an injustice in the handling of the case.’  [Citation.]”  (People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398, 406 [internal quotations omitted].)  The court should also consider whether the attorney’s “withdrawal can be accomplished without undue prejudice to the client’s interests.”  (Ramirez v. Sturdivant (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 904, 915.)
 
California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 requires that the following be submitted in support of an attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel pursuant Code of Civil Procedure section 284, subdivision (2): (1) a notice of motion and motion directed to the client (made on Notice of Motion and Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil (Judicial Council Form, MC-051)); (2) a declaration stating in general terms and without compromising the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship why a motion under Code of Civil Procedure section 284, subdivision (2) is brought instead of filing a consent under Code of Civil Procedure section 284, subdivision (1) (made on Declaration in Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil (Judicial Council Form, MC-052)); (3) a proof of service evidencing service of the notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order on the client and on all other parties who have appeared in the case; and (4) a proposed order relieving counsel (prepared on Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil (Judicial Council Form, MC-053)).  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (a), (c), (d), (e).)

Discussion

Counsel seeks to be relieved as counsel for Plaintiff Emmanuel Nolasco.

Counsel filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (MC-051), an Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (MC-053), and a Declaration in Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (MC-052) on the 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 served Plaintiff by mail at his last known address and was unable to confirm that the address was current. (MC-052 Item #3.) Counsel made reasonable efforts to confirm Plaintiff’s address by mailing the papers to his last known address with return receipt requested and calling his last known telephone number. (Id.)

Plaintiff will not be prejudiced if Counsel’s motion is granted. The next hearing in this matter is a final status conference scheduled for March 19, 2024. Trial is set for April 2, 2024. There is sufficient time for Plaintiff to engage new counsel before trial. The Court is satisfied that Counsel has a compelling reason to withdraw. (MC-052, Item #2.)