Thursday, October 28, 2021

Court Addresses Standards For Withdrawal As Counsel of Record in a Civil Matter

In the case of Fisher v. Correctional Care, Inc., No. 14-CV-4778 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Aug. 1, 2021 Nealon, J.), the court granted a defense attorney’s Petition for Leave to Withdraw as Counsel in a civil litigation matter.

It was noted that the Defendant party did not file an Answer to its attorney’s Petition for Leave to Withdraw as Counsel nor did any representative for the Defendant appear at the hearing.

Judge Terrence R. Nealon revealed of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas reviewed the law regarding withdraw as counsel from a civil litigation matter and granted the Petition.

Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County

The court noted that the defense attorney had asserted that the defense firm was not being paid for its legal services rendered and that the client had insisted on pursuing a defense that counsel considered repugnant, which resulted in irreconcilable differences between counsel and client.

The court noted that Rule 1.16(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct allowed a lawyer to request to withdraw from representation of a client if a client either insists on taking an action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement and/or where the representation would result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer, or other good cause.

While the court additionally noted that a Petition to Withdraw as Counsel may be denied if it will result in prejudice to a party, there was no prejudice found in this case.

 The court found that the defense firm had offered sufficient grounds to withdraw as counsel and that there was no prejudice.  Accordingly, defense counsel's Petition to Withdraw was granted.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Oct. 5, 2021).

Source of image:  Photo by Wesley Tingey on

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