Originally Posted by AngelBee
It was filed to other lawyer and court. Doesn't say why he withdrew.
Just to send all future communications to me.
OK, AngelBee:MN Rules of Professional Conduct
"RULE 1.16: DECLINING OR TERMINATING REPRESENTATION
...(b)... a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:
(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client;
(2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer’s services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent; (not applicable, I assume?
(3) the client has used the lawyer’s services to perpetrate a crime or fraud; (not applicable, I assume?
(4) the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement; (not applicable, I assume?
(5) the client fails substantially
to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer’s services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw
unless the obligation is fulfilled; (Again: The atty. knew your income when he took you on as a client; you have established an intent to pay; you have offered to make payments and he has rejected that offer and instead demanded payments he knows you can't afford. Unless he sent you notice about withdrawing a long time ago and you've avoided dealing with it, he has NOT fulfilled the requirement to give reasonable notice and is arguably attempting to intimidate you into payment by threatening to withdraw so close to a hearing that you DO risk "material adverse effect on your interests", IN VIOLATION OF Rule 1.16-(b)-1.
(6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer (Again, if you have already paid him approximately 1/3 of your annual income - and he knew your income when he took your case - I do not think he can make a reasonable argument that he will suffer an "unreasonable financial burden" unless you make payments that are a full 1/10 of your annual income
)or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client (I don't know how this clause is generally invoked, but you could certainly argue that YOU are the one to decide whether representation is "unreasonably difficult" FOR YOU; that's not your attorney's job
(7) other good cause for withdrawal exists. (HE HASN'T STATED ONE!
(c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.
(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel
, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled, and refunding any advance payment of fees or expenses that has not been earned or incurred..."
---------------------------------------------------------------MN Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board
- instructions for filing a complaint against an attorney
from Ethical and Procedural Withdrawal Requirements
(article by Kenneth L. Jorgensen, First Assistant Director Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, printed in Minnesota Lawyer
on November 4, 2002) http://www.mncourts.gov/lprb/fc110402.html:
"The necessity of court permission varies from court to court and even within certain courts depending upon the nature of the proceeding (e.g., civil or criminal). Ethically, withdrawing from representation, as outlined in this article, can only be accomplished by compliance with the applicable procedure or practice rules of the tribunal before which the lawyer is practicing.
State civil matters: Withdrawal from state court civil, appellate and administrative proceedings... none of these proceedings require court permission
(which stinks...BUT he STILL has to follow the Rules outlined above
), withdrawal is only effective upon serving all parties and the tribunal with notice of the withdrawal. See e.g., Rule 105, General Rules of Practice; Rule 143.05 (subd. 2), Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure; and Rule 1400.5700, Minnesota Code of Agency Regulations.
Each of these rules requires the withdrawal notice to include the client’s address and telephone number and cautions that withdrawal does not create a right to continue already scheduled trials or hearings
. (That fact means the risk of "material adverse effect on your interests" by him withdrawing right before a hearing is even more significant.
Despite the absence of a court approval requirement, these “notice” type of withdrawal rules can still serve as a basis for discipline. Lawyers have been disciplined for failing to provide the required notice when the failure to do so has resulted in prejudice to the former client or disruption of court procedures or calendars.
...ethically withdrawing from litigation matters requires
not only a proper basis or reason for withdrawal
(Rule 1.16(a) and (b)), but also compliance with the procedural rules of the tribunal before which the litigation is pending. Failure to heed these requirements can result not only in professional discipline, but also court sanctions."
---------------------------------------------------------------MN Rules of Civil Court
According to this, you must file a request for continuance at least 3 days before a hearing - although evidently your atty. withdrawing representation is not a basis for continuance.
If I were you, I'd contact my atty. today and tell him:
* You have established - and still have - an intent to pay him;
* You are willing to make payments, you just can't afford $3,000 at a time;
* He knew your income when he agreed to represent you;
* Common sense makes it obvious that there will be "material adverse effect on your interests" if he does not represent you at the hearing tomorrow, since he did not give you sufficient notice of his withdrawal to allow you to retain other representation or adequately prepare to represent yourself.
* In his notice of withdrawal, he did not address the risk of material adverse effect on your interests, nor did he cite any reason for his withdrawal. Thereby, he failed to comply with Rule 1.16 of the State Rules of Professional Conduct.
* You would like him to show up and represent you at the hearing tomorrow. (He is allowed to file a Notice of Representation in court, when he gets there. So the fact that he's already withdrawn does not prevent him from representing you tomorrow - don't let him tell you it does!)In addition to calling him, you need to put this in writing and FAX it to his office TODAY.
If you file a complaint against him later, you need proof that you communicated with him about these things. The date/time stamp on the fax will prove when you sent it and that it went to his office. More importantly, seeing that you've put these things in writing might make him and/or his office staff realize you are considering filing a professional complaint. He may take you more seriously and show up tomorrow, rather than dealing with having to respond to a complaint.
Meanwhile, prepare to represent yourself tomorrow.
#1- On the Civil Procedure link I gave you, research how to write up a challenge to his Notice of Withdrawal. The basis of your challenge is that he failed to comply with Rule 1.16. You can file your challenge in court tomorrow.
#2- Go ahead and write up a Request for Continuance, which you can also file in court tomorrow. The basis is that your attorney withdrew without giving proper notice and you ask the Court to postpone the hearing until the matter of your representation - and your challenge of your attorney's withdrawal - is resolved
#3- Prepare whatever you need to, for your actual custody issues, as though there is no chance of continuance
(because it's definitely not a sure thing, unfortunately).
If your attorney doesn't show, file a complaint! Your basis is that he intentionally compromised your custody case, by withdrawing right before a hearing, to intimidate you into making a payment he knew you couldn't afford - in spite of your history of paying him and your williingness to set up a reasonable payment plan. Moreover, he failed to comply with Rule 1.16, by failing to state any reason for his withdrawal and failing to consider the risk of "materal adverse effect to your interests".
Good luck, mama! The system is designed to make you believe you'd drown in it
without your attorney - so you'd better pay whatever he asks, for fear he'll cut the tow-rope to your life raft. Well, use the system against
anyone who wants you feel powerless and scared. It may not work... but your attorney expects you won't do anything about him withdrawing. If you surprise him, it may change how he chooses to proceed with you.