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Brown v. City of Glendale

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 22, 2019

Antonio Brown, Plaintiff,
v.
City of Glendale, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Dominic W. Lanza United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Antonio Brown is represented in this case by attorneys from two law firms: Wilenchik & Bartness PC (“the Wilenchik Firm”) and Fowler St. Clair, PLLC (“the Fowler Firm”). Now pending before the Court are a pair of withdrawal motions filed by those firms. (Docs. 67, 68.) For the following reasons, both motions will be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         On April 29, 2019, the parties brought a discovery dispute to the Court's attention. (Doc. 44.) The dispute concerned persistent failures by Plaintiff's attorneys to respond to discovery requests and to verify and supplement Plaintiff's disclosures. (Id.)

         On May 1, 2019, following a hearing concerning the discovery dispute, the Court issued a minute order requiring Plaintiff's attorneys to provide the requested verifications and supplementation and extending the deadlines in the scheduling order only as to Defendants. (Doc. 48.) This minute order also authorized Defendants to file a motion for attorneys' fees but required the parties to meet and confer beforehand. (Id.)

         On May 8, 2019, Plaintiff's attorneys filed a pair of withdrawal motions (Docs. 49, 51), which the Court denied without prejudice, as both motions failed to provide justifiable cause for the attempted withdrawals. (Doc. 57.)

         On June 12, 2019, Defendants filed a motion for attorneys' fees. (Doc. 60.)

         On June 27, 2019, the Wilenchik Firm filed another motion to withdraw. (Doc. 63.) Once again, the Court denied the motion without prejudice. (Doc. 64.) Among other things, the Court noted that the motion was made at a “sensitive juncture” and thus stated the request could be “renewed” after the attorneys' fee motion was resolved. (Id. at 3.)

         On July 29, 2019, the Court granted in part Defendants' motion for attorneys' fees, awarding $2, 041, with the obligation owed jointly and severally by Plaintiff and the Wilenchik Firm. (Doc. 66 at 7.)

         On July 31, 2019, the Wilenchik Firm and the Fowler Firm both filed motions to withdraw. (Docs. 67, 68.)

         DISCUSSION

         A. The Fowler Firm

         The Fowler Firm's motion was filed with client consent and was signed by Plaintiff. (Doc. 68 at 2.) The motion notes that Plaintiff desires the Fowler Firm “to no longer be co-counsel of record in this matter” and that “replacement counsel will not be required as Plaintiff is still represented by [the Wilenchik Firm].” (Id. at 1.) Pursuant to LRCiv 83.3, the application could have been presented to the Court ex parte (but was not), and at any rate, Defendants do not object to the withdrawal. (Doc. 70.) The Court will grant the Fowler Firm's motion to withdraw.

         B. The ...


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