[11 FSM Intrm. 349]
[11 FSM Intrm. 350]
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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 defendantsí behalf in this case, and defendants have not communicated with him since the depositions. Plaintiffs oppose Mr. Phillipís 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 clientís 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, counselís 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 defendantsí interests.
Accordingly, the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel is hereby denied.
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