Judge: Jill Feeney, Case: BC720502, Date: 2022-08-01 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: BC720502    Hearing Date: August 1, 2022    Dept: 30

Department 30, Spring Street 
August 1, 2022
Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel filed by Counsel Roxana Popescu, counsel to Plaintiff Trinity Williams


The motion is granted.

Counsel is ordered to serve a copy of the signed MC-053 on Plaintiff and to file proof of service reflecting the service of the MC-053 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

Counsel is also ordered to provide all other parties with notice and to file a proof of service of such notice within five court days after the date of this order. 


This is an action for premises liability arising from an electric dolly accident which took place in August 2016. Plaintiff Trinity Williams filed her complaint against Defendants Dolly Operator (later identified as Gene Romero) and Walmart Stores, Inc. Plaintiff alleges that Romero struck her with an electric dolly while working as an employee of Walmart.

On July 6, 2022, Plaintiff’s Counsel, Roxana Popescu (“Counsel”), filed her motion to be relieved as counsel. On July 18, 2022, Counsel filed an amended motion to be relieved as counsel. Plaintiff has not filed an opposition to this motion.

Trial is set for September 9, 2022.

Moving Arguments 
Counsel seeks a court order relieving her as counsel of record for Plaintiff Trinity Williams on the grounds that the attorney-client relationship has irreconcilably broken down, which prevents the attorney from being able to proceed with the matter properly. Counsel also notes that Plaintiff has been uncooperative. 

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 Trinity Williams.

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 her motion by mail at Plaintiff’s address which she confirmed via telephone at least 30 days prior to filing her motion. (Amended MC-052, Item #3(b).) 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. The next hearing in this case is a Final Status Conference which will take place on August 26, 2022. Trial is currently set for September 9, 2022. If Plaintiff requests, the Court will continue the trial date for a reasonable period of time to enable Plaintiff additional time to retain other counsel or to prepare for trial pro per.