Legal Opinions & Ethics

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Distinguished Fellow, National Judicial College

Keith R. Fisher

Executive Editor, Legal Opinions & Ethics
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MONTH-IN-BRIEF (Sep 2022)

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Need Court Approval for Withdrawal and Court Won’t Act? Consider Mandamus

By Keith R. Fisher

Model Rule 1.16(b) enumerates the bases upon which a lawyer may seek to withdraw from representing a client. These include (1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client; (2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer’s services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent; (3) the client has used the lawyer’s services to perpetrate a crime or fraud; (4) the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement; (5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer’s services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled; (6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or (7) other good cause for withdrawal exists.

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