CR 71: WITHDRAWAL BY ATTORNEY

(a) Withdrawal by Attorney.

Service on an attorney who has appeared for a party in a civil proceeding shall be valid to the extent permitted by statute and rule 5(b) only until the attorney has withdrawn in the manner provided in sections (b), (c), and (d). Nothing in this rule defines the circumstances under which a withdrawal might be denied by the court.

(b) Withdrawal by Order.

A court appointed attorney may not withdraw without an order of the court. The client of the withdrawing attorney must be given notice of the motion to withdraw and the date and place the motion will be heard.

(c) Withdrawal by Notice.

Except as provided in sections (b) and (d), an attorney may withdraw by notice in the manner provided in this section.

(1) Notice of Intent To Withdraw. The attorney shall file and serve a Notice of Intent To Withdraw on all other parties in the proceeding. The notice shall specify a date when the attorney intends to withdraw, which date shall be at least 10 days after the service of the Notice of Intent To Withdraw. The notice shall include a statement that the withdrawal shall be effective without order of court unless an objection to the withdrawal is served upon the withdrawing attorney prior to the date set forth in the notice. If notice is given before trial, the notice shall include the date set for trial. The notice shall include the names and last known addresses of the persons represented by the withdrawing attorney, unless disclosure of the address would violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, in which case the address may be omitted. If the address is omitted, the notice must contain a statement that after the attorney withdraws, and so long as the address of the withdrawing attorney's client remains undisclosed and no new attorney is substituted, the client may be served by leaving papers with the clerk of the court pursuant to rule 5(b)(1).

(2) Service on Client. Prior to service on other parties, the Notice of Intent To Withdraw shall be served on the persons represented by the withdrawing attorney or sent to them by certified mail, postage prepaid, to their last known mailing addresses. Proof of service or mailing shall be filed, except that the address of the withdrawing attorney's client may be omitted under circumstances defined by subsection (c)(1) of this rule.

(3) Withdrawal Without Objection. The withdrawal shall be effective, without order of court and without the service and filing of any additional papers, on the date designated in the Notice of Intent To Withdraw, unless a written objection to the withdrawal is served by a party on the withdrawing attorney prior to the date specified as the day of withdrawal in the Notice of Intent To Withdraw.

(4) Effect of Objection. If a timely written objection is served, withdrawal may be obtained only by order of the court.

(d) Withdrawal and Substitution.

Except as provided in section (b), an attorney may withdraw if a new attorney is substituted by filing and serving a Notice of Withdrawal and Substitution. The notice shall include a statement of the date on which the withdrawal and substitution are effective and shall include the name, address, Washington State Bar Association membership number, and signature of the withdrawing attorney and the substituted attorney. If an attorney changes firms or offices, but another attorney in the previous firm or office will become counsel of record, a Notice of Withdrawal and Substitution shall nevertheless be filed.

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