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Womack v. Geo Group Incorporated

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 18, 2013

John Doneld Womack, Plaintiff,
v.
GEO Group Incorporated, Defendant.

ORDER

LAWRENCE O. ANDERSON, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's "Motion Not to Allow Change of Attorney for Defendant GEO" and Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's "Motion Not to Allow Change of Attorney for Defendant GEO." (Docs. 73, 74) Plaintiff has filed a Response to Defendant's Motion to Strike. (Doc. 76)

Plaintiff requests in his motion that Defendant's previous attorney of record, Scott A. Alles, not be permitted to withdraw from further representation because he has not sought the Court's or Plaintiff's Consent. Plaintiff further contends there are ongoing discovery disputes involving attorney Scott A. Alles.

Civil Rule of Practice for the District Court of Arizona ("Local Rule" or "LRCiv") 83.3(b)(4) permits a private law firm that has appeared as counsel of record to substitute an attorney who is a member of that firm by simply filing a notice with the Court. The notice must provide the names of the attorneys who are the subjects of the substitution along with the current address and e-mail address of the attorney substituting. LRCiv 83.3(b)(4).

Here, Defendant filed a Notice of Change of Attorney Within Firm on September 18, 2013. (Doc. 69) The Notice indicates that Attorney Pari K. Scroggin is replacing Attorney Scott A. Alles as counsel for Defendant in this case. Both attorneys are with the Scottsdale law firm of Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester, LLP. The Notice further provides Attorney Scroggin's current mailing and e-mail addresses.

Moreover, as a general rule, "doctrine of standing prohibits a litigant from raising another's legal rights." FMC Technologies, Inc. v. Edwards, 420 F.Supp.2d 1153, 1156 (W.D. Wash. 2006) (citing, inter alia, Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 750-51 (1984)). "[O]nly a current or former client of an attorney has standing to complain of that attorney's representation of interests adverse to that current or former client." Id. (quoting Colyer v. Smith, 50 F.Supp.2d 966, 969 (C.D.Cal. 1999)). Because there is no evidence that Attorney Pari K. Scroggin has previously represented Plaintiff, Plaintiff lacks standing to object to Defendant's substitution of counsel.

The Court finds the Notice complies with LRCiv 83.3(b)(4). As a result, the substitution is allowed.[1] Plaintiff's motion to prohibit the substitution will be denied.

Regarding the motion to strike, because the Court is denying Plaintiff's motion, the motion to strike is moot and will be denied as such.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's "Motion Not to Allow Change of Attorney for Defendant GEO, " doc. 73, is DENIED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's "Motion Not to Allow Change of Attorney for Defendant GEO, " doc. 74, is DENIED as moot.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that counsel and any unrepresented party must comply with the Rules of Practice for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona ("Local Rules"), as amended on December 1, 2012. The District's Local Rules may be found on the District Court's internet web page at www.azd.uscourts.gov/. All other rules may be found at www.uscourts.gov/rules/. The fact that a party is acting pro se does not discharge a party's duties to "abide by the rules of the court in which he litigates." Carter v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 784 F.2d 1006, 1008 (9th Cir. 1986).


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