(a) Withdrawal Policy. An attorney who has appeared in a case or adversary proceeding, other than for the limited purpose of receiving notices, must obtain permission from the Bankruptcy Court to withdraw as counsel, unless substitute counsel has made an appearance for that party. Counsel may make a fee arrangement limiting the services to be performed without the payment of additional fees, but the failure of the client, including a debtor, to comply with the fee arrangement is merely a ground to seek withdrawal and not a basis on which the attorney may refuse to render services. Counsel will not ordinarily be allowed to withdraw if withdrawal would delay the progress of an adversary proceeding or contested matter.
(b) Withdrawal Procedure. An attorney desiring to withdraw as counsel must comply with the following procedure:
(1) The attorney must give fourteen days’ notice to the client of the attorney’s intention to request permission to withdraw. Such notice must be served on the client personally or by U.S. Mail at the client’s last known address and must contain at least the following:
(A) That the attorney wishes to withdraw and intends to file a motion to withdraw;
(B) The style of the case(s), adversary proceeding(s), and contested matter(s) in which counsel seeks to withdraw; for each, the name(s) address(es), telephone number(s), and e-mail address of opposing counsel; and the address and telephone number of the Bankruptcy Clerk.
(C) That the Bankruptcy Court retains jurisdiction of the matters;
(D) That, if the attorney’s withdrawal is permitted:
(1) The client will have the obligation to promptly file with the Bankruptcy Court, and mail to all adverse parties or their counsel, a written statement showing (A) the names of the parties and the number of each case, adversary proceeding, or contested matter in which the client is a party and (B) the client’s current name, telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail address, and that the statement must be amended promptly if the client’s name, telephone number, mailing address, or e-mail address changes;
(2) The client will have the obligation to respond to any discovery or motions, to take other actions as are appropriate or required, and to prepare for any trial or hearing that may be scheduled in any matter, or to hire other counsel to do so;
(3) The failure or refusal of the client to meet these obligations may result in adverse consequences;
(4) Service of notices, pleadings, and other papers may be made upon the client at the client’s last known address; and
(5) If the client is a corporation or other artificial entity, such entity may only be represented in the Bankruptcy Court by an attorney, an attorney must sign all pleadings submitted to the Bankruptcy Court, an officer may not represent the entity in the Bankruptcy Court unless that officer is also an attorney, and failure to comply with this rule could result in adverse consequences to the entity;
(E) The dates of any hearings or trials that have been scheduled and any applicable deadlines (such as deadlines for responding to discovery or motions or for filing pleadings, motions, or other papers), and that the holding of such hearings or trials and any deadlines will not be affected by the withdrawal of counsel; and
(F) Unless the withdrawal is with the client’s consent, that the client has fourteen days from the date of service of the notice to contact the attorney and state any objections to the attorney’s withdrawal.
(2) The attorney must file a motion with the Bankruptcy Clerk requesting permission to withdraw. The motion m0ust include the attorney’s certification that the attorney has given the client fourteen days’ prior written notice of the attorney’s intention to request permission to withdraw in accordance with the provisions of BLR 9010-5(b)(1) by the method described in the motion and must state, to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, the last known name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address for the client. A copy of the notice must be attached to the motion. The motion must be accompanied by a notice to the client that any objection to the motion must be filed within fourteen days after its service and the address of the Bankruptcy Clerk’s office where the objection may be filed.
(3) Fourteen days after service of the motion, the Bankruptcy Clerk will submit the motion and any responses to the Bankruptcy Judge for action thereon.
(c) Certificate of Consent to Withdrawal. An attorney wishing to withdraw may be relieved from the requirement to send a notice of intent to withdraw and to file a motion to withdraw by instead filing a Certificate of Consent with the Bankruptcy Clerk that has been signed by the client, the withdrawing attorney, and the substituting attorney, if one has been selected by the client. If the client has not retained substitute counsel, the Certificate of Consent must include notice to the client of the matters set forth in subparagraph (b)(1) above.
(d) Responsibilities of a Party No Longer Represented. A party no longer represented by an attorney must promptly file with the Bankruptcy Clerk, and mail to all adverse parties or their counsel, a written statement showing (1) the caption and number of each case, adversary proceeding, or contested matter in which such party is involved and (2) such party’s current name, telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail address. That statement must be amended promptly if the party’s name, telephone number, mailing address, or e-mail address changes. An unrepresented party’s mailing address of record constitutes the address at which such party may be served with subsequent papers in that matter, and failure to comply with these responsibilities may result in adverse consequences to such party.
(e) Leave of Absence.
(1) An attorney may seek a leave of absence by requesting that the Bankruptcy Court not place on a calendar on specified dates any matter involving that attorney’s client. A separate request must be made for each case or adversary proceeding in which the attorney has appeared.
(2) An attorney may request a leave of absence for fewer than twenty-one consecutive days by letter addressed to the Bankruptcy Judge’s courtroom deputy, with a copy to opposing counsel (or to opposing parties if unrepresented). The request is deemed granted when the letter is docketed by the courtroom deputy. A motion must be filed to request leave in excess of twenty-one consecutive days.
(3) A leave of absence neither extends previously set filing deadlines nor releases counsel from complying with other deadlines previously set by the Bankruptcy Court or by applicable law.
(4) An attorney may not request a leave of absence for a date upon which a matter has already been calendared. For that, BLR 5071-1 applies.