Court Rules

Rule 21 - Attorneys

Rule 21.4 - Withdrawal of Attorney

Rule 21.4 - Withdrawal of Attorney

1. Subject to the other requirements of this Rule 21.4, an attorney may withdraw from a civil or criminal case without leave of Court: (A) By filing a pleading entitled “Memorandum of Withdrawal” accompanied by the entry of appearance of another attorney, or otherwise demonstrating that the attorney’s client continues to be represented by other counsel of record; (B) When the case is completed, upon filing a pleading entitled “Memorandum of Withdrawal” demonstrating that there are no pending claims or issues in the matter; or (C) In a civil or domestic case, upon the filing of a pleading entitled “Termination of Limited Appearance” by an attorney who has previously filed an entry of limited appearance. The “Termination of Limited Appearance” shall demonstrate that the attorney has completed the duties set out in the entry of limited appearance. Any “Memorandum of Withdrawal” and “Termination of Limited Appearance” shall include the full address of the client and shall be served on the client in addition to all others required to be served.

In all other instances, such withdrawal may only be allowed with leave of Court, and upon a showing of compliance with Supreme Court Rule 4-1.16 and this Rule 21.4

2. Any attorney seeking leave to withdraw shall file
a written motion for leave to withdraw, containing the full address of the client. Such motion shall set forth the specific grounds for the relief sought. If the motion does not contain the written consent of the client, it must be served on the client along with a notice that there will be a hearing on the motion, and the date, time and place of such hearing. No attorney will be permitted to withdraw unless the client has been given written notification of the motion to withdraw and has been granted reasonable time to retain or have another attorney appointed.

3. Any attorney seeking leave to withdraw from a criminal case in which a warrant has been issued for the client for failing to appear shall certify that all reasonable efforts have been made to establish contact with the client and that the attorney is unable to locate the client. Under such circumstances the attorney may serve the notice required by Rule 21.4.2 by mailing a copy of the notice to the last address the client provided to the Court and any additional address provided by the client to the attorney. The Court may grant leave to withdraw subject to the provisions of Rule 21.4.4.

4. When a client whose attorney was granted leave to withdraw under Rule 21.4.3 is rearrested, the attorney upon notification of the arrest shall without delay meet with the client to ensure compliance with Supreme Court Rule 4-1.16. The attorney shall certify to the Court that the requirements of that rule have been met.

If the attorney who was granted leave to withdraw was a public defender, the District Defender shall, within three days of the defendant being taken into custody, screen the client and determine if the client is still indigent. If the client is indigent, the District Defender shall immediately enter an appearance. If the client no longer qualifies for services, the District Defender shall notify the Court.

The Court may hold a hearing to determine compliance with this rule and may make such orders as the Court deems appropriate.

5. Withdrawal of an attorney of record in a criminal case will not be permitted on the sole ground that fees have not been collected.

6. When an attorney seeks leave to withdraw after a verdict of guilty in a criminal case, such leave shall not be granted until the attorney handling the trial has filed the motion for new trial (or other appropriate after-trial motion), and has filed the notice of appeal (accompanied by the appropriate filing fee or poor person order). When the notice of appeal has been filed, the Court may grant leave to withdraw and may allow such substitution of counsel, including appointment of counsel in indigent cases, as the Court deems appropriate.

ADOPTED 12/13/13
REVISED 11/20/20
EFFECTIVE 12/18/20