United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.
before the Court is a Motion for Extension of Time to Respond
to Discovery [Doc. 33] and Second Motion for Leave to
Withdraw as Counsel (“Motion to Withdraw”) [Doc.
35]. With respect to the latter Motion, Plaintiffs'
attorney, Joshua I. Goldman with Totten, Franqui Davis &
Burk, LLC (“Firm”) seeks to withdraw in this
matter. The Motion states that the Firm filed a Chapter 7
Bankruptcy in the Southern District of Florida and that
counsel communicated with Plaintiffs about the basis for
withdrawing. The Motion states that requiring counsel to
remain on the case would impose an unreasonable financial
burden on counsel and would adversely affect Plaintiffs'
ability to litigate their case. The Motion states that the
trial has not been set in this matter. Finally, the
Motion provides Plaintiffs' address, telephone number,
and states that Plaintiff consents to the
request. Attorney Goldman states that he sent a
copy of the Motion to Plaintiffs on June 26, 2019.
to Local Rule 83.4, in order to withdraw from a case, an
attorney must do the following:
(1) File a motion with the Court requesting permission to
withdraw as counsel of record;
(2) Include in the motion the current mailing address and
telephone number of the client;
(3) Unless the motion is signed by both the attorney and the
client or a consent to the withdrawal signed by the client is
attached to the motion, provide a copy of the motion to the
client at least 14 days prior to the date the motion is
(4) If a hearing date on the motion is set, certify in
writing to the Court that the client was served at least 7
days before the hearing with notice (i) of the date, time,
and place of hearing and (ii) that the client as a right to
appear and be heard on the motion; and
(5) Certify to the Court that the above requirements have
Court finds that Attorney Goldman's Second Motion for
Leave to Withdraw as Counsel [Doc. 35]
complies with the Local Rules, and therefore, the same is
PART. The Court expects Attorney Goldman to
provide copies of any relevant documents to any future
counsel for Plaintiffs or directly to Plaintiffs upon
request. Attorneys Goldman is RELIEVED of
his duties as counsel in this case.
Motion to Withdraw also requests that the Court allow
Plaintiffs a reasonable time to find new counsel. The Motion
does not explain how much time is needed, and the Court finds
that Plaintiffs have already had sufficient time to seek new
counsel as Attorney Goldman filed his original motion to
withdraw on June 19, 2019. Further, other than the discovery
deadline below, there are no other deadlines that are quickly
approaching in this matter. Accordingly, Plaintiffs are
hereby ADMONISHED that they are
DEEMED to be proceeding pro se. Until they
obtain substitute counsel, it is their obligation to stay up
to date on the status of this case and comply with the
deadlines set by the Court. Likewise, if they elect to
proceed in this case without an attorney, they are
responsible for complying with all deadlines set by the Court
and responding to any requests for relief by other parties,
see E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.1. Plaintiffs, like any other
party, will be expected to comply with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, and the Court's Orders.
respect to the Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to
Discovery [Doc. 33], Plaintiffs state that Defendants served
them with Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, and
Requests for Production of Documents on May 23, 2019.
Plaintiffs requested an extension of time to respond to
discovery because their counsel sought to withdraw from this
case. Plaintiffs state that defense counsel opposed the
request for an extension. Plaintiffs request ninety (90) days
to respond to discovery given the Motion to Withdraw.
Defendants oppose [Doc. 34] the Motion and request that the
Court (1) order Plaintiffs to respond to the Requests for
Production and Interrogatories within ten (10) days, (2) deem
all Plaintiffs' non-privilege objections to the Requests
for Production of Documents and Interrogatories waived, and
(3) deem all matters in the Requests for Admissions admitted.
the Court finds the Motion for Extension of Time to Respond
to Discovery [Doc. 33], which requests
ninety (90) days to respond to discovery, is
DENIED. The discovery requests were served
on May 23, 2019, and discovery needs to move forward in this
case. As explained above, Plaintiffs have had sufficient time
to retain new counsel. The Court ORDERS
Plaintiffs to respond to the Interrogatories, Requests for
Admissions, and Requests for Production of Documents within
twenty (20) days of filing the instant Memorandum and Order.
Given the circumstances with Plaintiffs' counsel, the
Court will not deem all of non-privilege objections to the
Requests for Production of Documents and Interrogatories
waived, nor will the undersigned deem all matters admitted in
the Requests for Admissions.
the Clerk is DIRECTED to mail a copy of this
Memorandum and Order to Plaintiffs at the address provided in
the Motion to Withdraw and to update ECF accordingly