FSM SUPREME COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as Beal Bank S.S.B. v. Salvador
11 FSM Intrm. 349 (Pon. 2003)

[11 FSM Intrm. 349]

BEAL BANK, S.S.B., and THE UNITED STATES
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION,
Plaintiffs,
 
vs.
 
SODER SALVADOR and BETSY K. SALVADOR,
Defendants.
 
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2001_040
 
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO WITHDRAW
 
Andon L. Amaraich
Chief Justice
 
Decided: February 7, 2003
 
APPEARANCES:
 
For the Plaintiffs:                         Craig D. Reffner, Esq.
                                                      Law Office of Fredrick L. Ramp
                                                      P.O. Box 1480
                                                      Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941

[11 FSM Intrm. 350]

For the Defendants:                   Joseph S. Phillip, Esq.
                                                     P.O. Box 464
                                                     Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941

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HEADNOTE

Attorney, Trial Counselor and Client) Withdrawal of Counsel
     An attorneys motion to withdraw after advising his clients at depositions will be denied because the record contains no evidence that defendants discharged him at the depositions end, or withdrew their authorization for him to represent them in all aspects of this proceeding; because a clients failure to contact counsel has no effect on representation especially when counsel has provided no evidence of his efforts to contact the client; because counsels failure to secure a fee agreement between himself and his clients is not a basis for terminating representation; and because the case is ready for trial, and withdrawal of counsel at this juncture would materially compromise defendants interests. Beal Bank S.S.B. v. Salvador, 11 FSM Intrm. 349, 350 (Pon. 2003).

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COURTS OPINION

ANDON L. AMARAICH, Chief Justice:

     On January 17, 2003, Joseph Phillip, counsel for defendants Soder and Betsy Salvador, filed a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel. Mr. Phillip states that his appearance in this case was limited to advising defendants during depositions, there is no fee agreement in place, he has not been authorized to further appear on defendants behalf in this case, and defendants have not communicated with him since the depositions. Plaintiffs oppose Mr. Phillips withdrawal.

     Rule 1.16 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct articulates the bases upon which an attorney may terminate his or her representation of clients. After careful review of that rule, the Court has concluded that none of the bases for terminating representation exist in the present case. First, the record contains no evidence that defendants discharged Mr. Phillip at the conclusion of depositions, or withdrew their authorization for him to represent them in all aspects of this proceeding. Second, a clients failure to contact counsel has no effect on representation especially where, as here, counsel has provided no evidence of his efforts to contact the clients. Third, counsels failure to secure a fee agreement between himself and his clients is not a basis for terminating representation. Fourth, this case is apparently ready for trial, and withdrawal of counsel at this juncture would materially compromise defendants interests.

     Accordingly, the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel is hereby denied.

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