Judge: Yolanda Orozco, Case: 22STCV02000, Date: 2022-08-18 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22STCV02000    Hearing Date: August 18, 2022    Dept: 31

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL BY PLAINTIFF’S COUNSEL IS GRANTED 

Background 

            On January 18, 2022, Kristen Wilson (“Plaintiff”) initiated the present action by filing a Complaint against BMW of North America, LLC, Mini of Universal City, and Does 1 through 100 (collectively, “Defendants”).  Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges the following causes of action against Defendants: (1) Violation of Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act; (2) Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability; (3) Negligent Repair; and (4) Misrepresentation. 

            On March 7, 2022, Defendant BMW of North America, LLC filed an Answer.           

            On May 16, 2022, Natan Davoodi, Esq. (“Plaintiff’s Counsel”) filed a Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, moving to be relieved as counsel for Plaintiff. 

            On July 13, 2022, Plaintiff’s Counsel’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel came before the Court for hearing.  The Court denied Plaintiff’s Counsel’s Motion on the following grounds: (1) Plaintiff’s Counsel failed to file a proposed order on Judicial Council Form MC-053; (2) Plaintiff’s Counsel’s accompanying Declaration mistakenly states that the attorney seeking to withdraw is counsel for Defendant, as opposed to Plaintiff; (3) Plaintiff’s Counsel failed to aver that he has confirmed that the address at which notice was mailed is the current address of the client; and (4) Plaintiff’s Counsel failed to check box (b)(1) on the accompanying Declaration. 

            On July 14, 2022, Plaintiff’s Counsel filed an amended Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, moving, again, to be relieved as counsel for Plaintiff.  The Court now considers Plaintiff’s Counsel’s amended Motion.

 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 

            Plaintiff’s Counsel, Natan Davoodi, Esq., moves for an Order relieving himself as counsel for Plaintiff Kristen Wilson. 

            Following review of Plaintiff’s Counsel’s amended Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, the Court finds Plaintiff’s Counsel has amended all defects and, further, that Plaintiff’s Counsel’s Motion complies with all necessary requirements, as set forth within California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362.  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362.) 

Plaintiff’s Counsel has properly 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).)  Plaintiff’s Counsel has properly served the Notice of Motion and Motion, Declaration, and Proposed Order upon Plaintiff by mail, and has confirmed the accurateness of Plaintiff’s address within the last thirty (30) days, in compliance with California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subdivision (d).  (Decl. in Support of Motion for Attorneys’ Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil, ¶ 3b.(1)(d) [“I have confirmed the address at which I served notice of this motion to withdraw on Kristen Wilson is current.”]; Notice of Motion and Motion at p. 3 [Proof of Service]; Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (d).) 

Further, Plaintiff’s Counsel has served the Notice of Motion and Motion, Declaration, and Proposed Order upon all other parties who have appeared in this action.  (Notice of Motion and Motion at p. 3 [Proof of Service].)  Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s Counsel has complied with all necessary procedural requirements, as set forth within California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362.) 

            The Court finds Plaintiff’s Counsel’s requested withdrawal is warranted and will not cause undue prejudice to Plaintiff.  Plaintiff’s Counsel declares, “[a] conflict has arisen between the undersigned counsel and Kristen Wilson, which makes further representation of this Client impossible.  Counsels have tried on multiple occasions to resolve this conflict, but have been unable to.”  (Decl. In Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, at ¶2.)  Given trail in the present action is not scheduled to commence until June 12, 2023, the Court finds Plaintiff will not suffer any prejudice as a result of Plaintiff’s Counsel’s withdrawal. 

            Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s Counsel’s requested withdrawal may be permitted. 

Conclusion 

            Natan Davoodi, Esq.’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED. 

            Once signed, the Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil (MC-053) must be served on the client and on all parties that have appeared in the case.  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (e).)  The Order will not be effective until proof of service of a copy of the signed Order on the client has been filed with the Court.  (Ibid.) 

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