Judge: Richard Y. Lee, Case: 30-2020-01172736, Date: 2022-08-11 Tentative Ruling

Attorney Richard Kim, Esq. of Law Offices of Richard Kim moves for an order relieving him as Counsel of Record for Plaintiff, James Bassett.


Attorney Kim provides that the attorney-client relationship has deteriorated, and that there is an increasing failure on the client’s part to communicate. (Declaration of Richard Kim, ¶ 2; ROA 51.) Attorney Kim also states, “Attorney and office has attempted to repeatedly get in contact with Client but was unable to do so. Attorney has sent numerous emails and phone calls to get in contact with Client. Client’s failure to communicate amounts to refusal to heed counsel’s advice and is otherwise interfering with attorney’s ability to effectively represent clients.” (Ibid.)


Motions to be relieved as counsel pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. (“CCP”) § 284(2) are governed by California Rules of Court (“CRC”), rule 3.1362.) “The notice of motion and motion, the declaration, and the proposed order must be served on the client and on all other parties who have appeared in the case. The notice may be by personal service, electronic service, or mail.” (CRC, rule 3.1362(d).) In addition, if the notice is served on the client by mail, it must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing that either “[t]he service address is the current residence or business address of the client,” or “[t]he service address is the last known residence or business address of the client and the attorney has been unable to locate a more current address after making reasonable efforts to do so within 30 days before the filing of the motion to be relieved.” (CRC, rule 3.1362(d)(1).)


Here, a proof of service is attached to the Notice of Motion which provides that the Notice of Motion, Declaration in  Support of the Motion, and Proposed Order have been served on Defendants’ counsel on 5/19/22 by email. (See ROA 55.)


The Declaration in Support of the Motion to be Relieved on Judicial Council Form MC-052, provides that the Attorney Kim “confirmed within the past 30 days that the [client’s] address is current by having his “researcher verify the address.” (Declaration of Richard Kim, ¶ 3(b); ROA 51.) However, Attorney Kim did not complete paragraph 3(a) which indicates whether Attorney Kim personally served the client, or served the client by mail, nor does Attorney Kim indicate if he has been unable to serve the client.


Based on the foregoing, it is unclear to the Court whether the client was served with the notice of motion and motion, the declaration, and the proposed order as required by CRC, rule 3.1362(d). Thus, the Court DENIES, without prejudice, Attorney Kim’s motion to be relieved as counsel of record.


Alternatively, if attorney Kim can provide proof of service of the notice of motion, motion, declaration and proposed order showing sufficient notice by the time of hearing, i.e., a filing demonstrating proof of service, the motion will be granted.


Attorney Kim to give notice.