Judge: Theodore R. Howard, Case: 16-884112, Date: 2022-08-18 Tentative Ruling

Attorney Kathleen Carter’s (“Carter”) unopposed Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel (“Motion”) is DENIED without prejudice.


Carter has failed to comply with the requirements of California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1362, and has not filed and served required form MC-052.  Although Carter filed a written declaration regarding the alleged conflict, that declaration failed to include required information from MC-052, such as whether client(s) addresses have been recently confirmed and by what means, giving her client(s) notice of upcoming hearing dates such as the 08/19/22 status conference, and whether or not trial has been scheduled.  The court notes the Proposed Order has a “last known address” attachment, but again, there is no indicated efforts regarding confirming those addresses.


The declaration itself is unclear as it states Carter represents “Defendants” in this matter and was counsel for “Defendants” in this matter prior to and during Bankruptcy.  The sole defendant in this matter is Christopher Simonian (“Defendant”).  Carter’s captions indicate she represents plaintiff Stemtech HealthSciences Corp. (“Plaintiff”), and cross-defendants Stemtech International, Inc. (“STI”), and Ray C. Carter, Jr. (“Ray”).  The declaration is uncertain as to who Carter is referring to.  Additionally, neither STI nor Ray have made an appearance in this action, yet Carter is seeking relief from representing them.


The Motion and Proposed Order are unclear as it appears Carter seeks relief only for herself and not also for her law firm of Messner Reeves LLP.  This may cause confusion to Carter’s client(s) as to whether or not Messner Reeves LLP continues to represent them.


Finally, the pleadings only indicate relief being sought from representing Plaintiff and STI, but are silent as to Ray.  While Carter may still plan on representing Ray, Attachment 6 to the Proposed Order states Ray’s last known address and telephone, which could suggest Carter is also seeking relief from representing Ray despite not filing a motion covering Ray. 


The Motion is denied without prejudice to refiling a new motion that complies with the code and explains the court’s concerns noted above.


Carter to give notice.