Judge Andrews Grants Motion to Withdraw but Retains Jurisdiction for Potential Sanctions
December 1, 2015
Publication| Intellectual Property
In Dragon Intellectual Property, LLC v. Apple, Inc., C.A. No. 13-2058-RGA (D. Del. Nov. 13, 2015), Judge Andrews granted a motion for withdrawal filed by counsel for the plaintiff, Dragon Intellectual Property, LLC (“Dragon”), in a number of related patent infringement actions, but only after the moving counsel first satisfied concerns raised by the defendants.
The defendants in the actions had raised the possibility of pursuing sanctions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 for plaintiff’s filing of a frivolous complaint, and sought assurance that the withdrawal of counsel would not place the moving counsel beyond the jurisdiction of the Court for such purposes. The defendants also expressed concern that Dragon would not timely find replacement counsel, which would make the suit difficult to litigate.
Dragon’s counsel confirmed that withdrawal would not terminate the Court’s in personam jurisdiction over them. As for the retention of new counsel, Judge Andrews offered to grant the motion on the condition that Dragon locate substitute counsel within 30 days or face dismissal with prejudice. Moving counsel did not object to this proposal, which satisfied the defendants’ concern, and the Court accordingly granted the motion for withdrawal.
Analysis: Although counsel may seek to withdraw their appearance from a case, they may still have to address actions that took place during their representation.