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L.B.R. 9010-4. Attorneys – Withdrawal

(a)  Withdrawal of Appearance.  An attorney who has entered an appearance in a case or proceeding may seek to withdraw on timely motion showing good cause.  Withdrawal is only effective upon Court order after proper service of the motion and notice.  Motions filed on the eve of a hearing or deadline may not be deemed timely.

(1)  Motion Requirements.  A motion to withdraw must state the reasons for withdrawal unless the statement would violate the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.  Good cause for withdrawal may include an assertion that the client has failed to make timely payments for post-petition services, provided that the attorney has completed the Basic Services, defined in L.B.R. 9010-1(c)(5).  In addition, the Motion must include attorney’s statements or advice to the client and/or the Court that:

(A) the attorney wishes to withdraw;

(B) the Court retains jurisdiction;

(C) the client’s last known address and telephone number;

(D) the client has the burden of keeping the Court informed of the mailing address where notices, pleadings or other documents may be served;

(E) the client has the obligation either to prepare personally for any hearing or trial in a contested matter or adversary proceeding or to hire another attorney to prepare for any future hearing or trial;

(F)  the client is responsible for complying with all Court orders and time limitations established by any applicable statute, rule, or the Rules.

(G) if another attorney is not hired, the client has the obligation to decide whether to respond to any motion that may be filed in the case after the withdrawal of the attorney, to file a timely response, and to respond to any Court orders requiring the client to respond;

(H) if the client fails or refuses to meet these burdens, the client may suffer sanctions, including default or dismissal of the pending contested matter, adversary proceeding, or the client’s bankruptcy case in some circumstances;

(I)   the dates of any pending matters and filing deadlines, including trials and hearings on contested matters or adversary proceedings, and a warning that such matters will not be delayed or affected by the withdrawal of the attorney;

(J)  service of process may be made upon the client at the client’s address in the Court’s database;

(K) where the withdrawing attorney’s client is a corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, that such entity cannot appear without an attorney admitted to practice before this Court, and absent prompt appearance of the substitute attorney, pleadings, motions, and other documents may be stricken, and default judgment or other sanctions may be imposed against the entity including dismissal or conversion of its case if it is a debtor; and

(L)  the client or other parties in interest have the right to object to the proposed withdrawal of the attorney by filing with the Court an objection to the attorney’s motion to withdraw within seven days after filing of the notice.

(2)  Notice Requirements.  Any attorney seeking to withdraw as attorney of record must make a reasonable effort to give actual notice to the client.  In addition, the attorney must give notice in accordance with L.B.R. 9013-1 to the client, United States Trustee, trustee, and to all parties who have entered an appearance in the case or proceeding.  The notice must include notice of an opportunity to object and provide an objection deadline of no less than seven days from the date of filing of the motion.  Both the motion and notice must be filed with the Court.

(b)  Substitution of Attorney.  Any client who seeks to have a replacement attorney enter an appearance in a case or proceeding in which there is already an attorney of record for the client must make reasonable efforts to obtain a signature of an existing attorney in substantial conformity with L.B.F. 9010-4.1.  If the client is unable to obtain the signature of the existing attorney on L.B.F. 9010-4.1, then the replacement attorney must file a notice of substitution in substantial conformity with L.B.F.  9010-4.2. With either form, the form must be filed with the Court and notice given to the client, United States Trustee, trustee, and all parties who have entered an appearance in the case or proceeding.  The substitution will become effective upon filing.  The Clerk is authorized to terminate the involvement of the former attorney upon the filing of either form of substitution.  Nothing in this Rule will relieve the replacement attorney of the obligation to comply with 11 U.S.C. § § 327, 526, and Fed. R. Bankr. R. 2016, to the extent applicable.




L.B.R. 9010-4(b) has been added to address circumstances in which the client is unable to obtain the former attorney’s signature for a substitution of attorney in circumstances such as the death or disbarment of the former attorney.  Nevertheless, every attorney of record has an obligation to assist the client with substitution of attorney when the client requests substitution.  If exigent circumstances require an immediate substitution of attorney, L.B.F. 9010-4.2 may be utilized, but exigent circumstances should not be construed so broadly as to cover new attorney’s inattention to the Rule’s requirements.  Every reasonable effort should be made to obtain former attorney’s signature on L.B.F.  9010-4.1.