By order to show cause signed January 8, 2007, Frank M. Putorti, Jr., P.C.,
attorney of record for claimants, seeks to be relieved as counsel on the grounds
that claimants have failed to communicate or cooperate with him, that claimants
have expressed a desire to terminate Mr. Putorti’s representation and that
claimants have retained new counsel. Counsel’s request is not opposed.
CPLR 321 (b) (2) provides that “[a]n attorney of record may withdraw or
be changed by order of the court in which the action is pending, upon motion on
such notice to the client of the withdrawing attorney, to the attorneys of all
other parties in the action or, if a party appears without an attorney, to the
party, and to any other person, as the court may direct.” Here, in
support of his request, counsel offers proof of service of the order to show
cause and supporting affirmation upon claimants, defendant and Robert Stoddard,
Esq., the attorney purported to be claimants’ new counsel.
It is well settled that “an attorney may terminate the attorney-client
relationship ‘at any time for a good and sufficient cause and upon
reasonable notice’ ” (Lake v M.P.C. Trucking Inc., 279 AD2d
813, 814 , quoting Matter of Dunn, 205 NY 398, 403 ).
“Good and sufficient cause has been found to exist when there are
‘irreconcilable differences between the attorney and the client with
respect to the proper course to be pursued in [the] litigation’ ”
(id., quoting Winters v Rise Steel Erection Corp., 231 AD2d 626
). Moreover, “DR2-110 (C) (1) (d) of the Code of Professional
Responsibility states that an attorney’s withdrawal from employment is
permissible where a client ‘renders it unreasonably difficult for the
lawyer to carry out his employment effectively’ ” (Holmes v
Y.J.A. Realty Corp., 128 AD2d 482, 483 ).
Upon review of counsel’s papers, the Court finds that good and sufficient
cause exists for termination of the attorney-client relationship herein.
Moreover, there is no opposition to the request. Accordingly, prosecution of
this claim is stayed for sixty days from the filing of this Decision and Order
to permit claimants the opportunity to retain new counsel, if they have not done
so already, and file a notice of appearance with the Clerk of the Court.
A telephone status conference will be conducted in this matter on July 5, 2007
at 10:00 AM and chambers will initiate the call. Claimants’ failure to
appear at the above scheduled telephone conference may result in dismissal of
this claim (see 22 NYCRR §206.10 [g]).
Additionally, within fourteen days from the filing date hereof, counsel is
directed to file proof of service of this Decision and Order upon claimants by
certified mail, return receipt requested and by ordinary mail upon defendant and
to claimants’ last known address, as well as proof of service of the
complete file upon claimants.
Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that Frank M. Putorti, Jr., P.C. is relieved
of counsel in this matter.