United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
AMY'S COUNTRY CANDLES, LLC.
ORDER AND REASONS
S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant's counsel's motion to withdraw
as counsel of record. For the following reasons, the motion is
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought this
Title VII discrimination suit against defendant Amy's
Country Candles, LLC on July 7, 2017. On November 19, 2018, the
Court entered a final judgment against
defendant. The final judgment reflected a settlement
agreement the parties had reached. As part of that agreement,
defendant agreed to pay Chelsea Donnelly, the victim of its
workplace discrimination, a sum of $6, 500. Defendant was to
pay Donnelly $2, 000 within one month of the entry of the
judgment, and then the remaining amount in monthly
installments of $300. The agreement provides that if defendant
fails to make a scheduled payment, and fails to cure such
failure within five days of receiving written notice from
plaintiff, any remaining settlement funds owed become due
represents that defendant failed to make the first $2, 000
payment within the timeframe set by the settlement agreement,
causing the entire $6, 500 sum to become due. Plaintiff further
represents that as of May 7, 2019-the date of plaintiff's
opposition to defendant's counsel's motion- defendant
still owes $3, 600. On May 2, 2019, defendant's counsel
moved to withdraw as counsel of record for
defendant. Plaintiff opposes the
Court has jurisdiction over this motion because in the final
judgment, the Court explicitly “retain[ed] jurisdiction
during the term of [the] judgment to assure defendant's
full compliance of its obligations and to permit entry of any
further orders or modifications as may be
appropriate.”See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 381 (1994) (a court may retain
jurisdiction over a settlement agreement by including in its
order of dismissal a provision stating that it intends to
attorney may withdraw from representation only upon leave of
the court and a showing of good cause and reasonable notice
to the client.” United States v. Porter, No.
12-198, 2013 WL 5232334, at *5 (E.D. La. Sept. 13, 2013)
(internal quotation marks omitted). The withdrawal of an
attorney in a given case is a matter entrusted to the sound
discretion of the court. Id. When evaluating whether
to permit an attorney to withdraw, “courts consider
factors such as the reason withdrawal is sought, the
prejudice the withdrawal may cause to the other litigants,
the harm withdrawal may cause to the administration of
justice, and the degree to which withdrawal may delay
resolution of the case.” Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v.
Karken, Ltd., No. 98-2833, 1999 WL 307612, at *1 (E.D.
La. May 13, 1999). “It is incumbent on the court to
assure that the prosecution of the lawsuit is not
disrupted” by the withdrawal of counsel. Broughten
v. Voss, 634 F.2d 880, 882-83 (5th Cir. 1981).
Court will not permit defendant's counsel to withdraw.
First, counsel have not provided the Court with any reason
for their withdrawal.In addition, their withdrawal could
prejudice plaintiff and delay the resolution of this case,
because it could disrupt plaintiff's ability to enforce
the terms of the settlement agreement. See Zurich Am.
Ins. Co., 1999 WL 307612, at *1.
to plaintiff, defendant must pay an additional $3, 600 to
satisfy its monetary obligations. The Court sees no reason
why defendant's counsel cannot remain as the counsel of
record for the period of time it will take for defendant to
fulfill its remaining obligation or for the Court to enforce
foregoing reasons, defendant's counsel's motion ...