IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
March 16, 2007
BIG BOY FRANCHISE MANAGEMENT, LLC, PLAINTIFF,
REGENCY PARTNERS, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge
Attorneys James P. Martin and Julia Gwinn Brncic are before the Court seeking leave to withdraw as counsel of record for Cypress Properties, LLC, Ronald W. Schantz and William H. Albert. (Doc. 23). Martin and Brncic assert that Cypress Properties, LLC, Ronald W. Schantz and William H. Albert are in violation of a Legal Services Agreement, in that they have not paid for legal services in a timely manner.
A review of the record reveals that attorneys Martin and Brncic only represent defendants Ronald W. Schantz and William H. Albert. Cypress Properties, LLC, is not a defendant in this action. Although the Court granted plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint adding Cypress Properties, LLC, as a defendant, to date plaintiff has failed to file its amended complaint, despite having been given a March 15, 2007, deadline for doing so. (Doc. 22). Consequently, it is premature to permit the attorneys to withdraw from representing an entity that is not in this action. Moreover, this Court will not interject itself in a contract dispute that is not properly before the Court.
Two other aspects of the attorneys' motion are problematic. First, Martin and Brncic request that their law firm, Polsinelli, Shalton, Flanigan, Suelthaus, PC, be permitted to withdraw from this action. Individual attorneys, not law firms, represent parties in federal court. Second, only attorney Martin signed the motion. There is no formal indication that attorney Brncic has authorized attorney Martin to sign the motion on her behalf. The seriousness of an attorney's ethical obligations requires strict compliance with such technicalities.
With all that said, attorney Martin has sufficiently shown cause for withdrawing as counsel of record for defendants Ronald W. Schantz and William H. Albert. SeeFidelity National Title Insurance Co. Of New York v. Intercounty National Title Insurance Co., 310 F.3d 537, 539 (7th Cir. 2002); and American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules 1.16(b)(5-6).
Martin has complied with Local Rule 83.1(g) by giving notice to his clients and providing the Court with their last unknown addresses.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that attorneys James P. Martin and Julia Gwinn Brncic's motion for leave to withdraw as counsel of record in this action (Doc. 23) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
The Clerk of Court shall have the record reflect that attorney James P. Martin is terminated as attorney of record for defendants Ronald W. Schantz and William H. Albert; attorney Julia Gwinn Brncic remains counsel for Schantz and Albert.
Out of an overabundance of caution, the Clerk of Court shall forward a copy of this order to all counsel of record and to defendants Ronald W. Schantz and William H. Albert at the following addresses:
Ronald W. Schantz: P.O. Box 1630, O'Fallon, IL 62269-8630 William H. Albert: 6510 State Route 158, Millstadt, IL 62260 IT IS SO ORDERED.
CLIFFORD J. PROUD U. S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
© 1992-2007 VersusLaw Inc.