United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
John B. Harwood, David S. Francazio, and Robert A.
D'Alfonso of McKinnon & Harwood LLC have moved for
leave to withdraw from their representation of Plaintiff Fred
Humphrey. [ECF No. 79]. Defendants take no position on
Plaintiff counsel's motion but have moved to dismiss the
case for similar reasons. [ECF No. 80 at 2]. Plaintiff's
counsel have also sought to extend the deadline to respond to
the motion to dismiss until 21 days after a ruling on the
pending motion to withdraw. [ECF No. 81]. For the reasons
stated herein, the motion to withdraw is GRANTED and
the motion for extension of time is GRANTED as
follows. Plaintiff shall obtain new counsel to represent him
in this matter or file a notice to appear pro se by
May 21, 2018 and shall respond to the motion to
dismiss by June 4, 2018.
initiated this action on December 18, 2015. [ECF No. 1].
Motions to dismiss were filed in April and May 2016, after
which Plaintiff filed a motion to amend the complaint that
the Court allowed. [ECF No. 35]. After a second round of
motions to dismiss, on March 31, 2017, the Court dismissed
certain of the pending claims and all other plaintiffs from
the case. [ECF No. 54]. The Court then held a scheduling
conference on September 11, 2017, and issued a scheduling
order, which set a deadline for fact discovery to be
completed by May 31, 2018. [ECF Nos. 67, 68].
December 8, 2017, Defendant Comoletti filed a letter motion
to compel Plaintiff to provide written discovery responses to
interrogatories and requests for production that were served
on October 2, 2017. [ECF No. 71]. Plaintiff's counsel
informed Comoletti that the discovery responses were delayed
because Plaintiff was out-of-state and his father was on
dialysis. Id. Comoletti agreed to extend the
discovery response deadline to December 6, 2017. When
Plaintiff failed to provide discovery responses by that date,
Plaintiff's counsel reported that they were unable to
reach Plaintiff for two weeks and could not provide a date
for serving discovery responses. Id. After the Court
scheduled a hearing on the letter motion, the parties agreed
to further extend the deadline until January 9, 2018. [ECF
Nos. 72, 75]. The Court cancelled the hearing in accordance
with the parties' stipulated extension. [ECF No. 76].
Plaintiff eventually provided his discovery responses, on
March 6, 2018, Comoletti filed a second letter motion to
compel Plaintiff to appear for his duly noticed deposition.
[ECF No. 77]. Comoletti reported that counsel for all parties
had agreed to schedule the deposition for March 7, 2018, and
that the deposition was properly noticed on February 2, 2018.
Id. Plaintiff's counsel informed Comoletti on
the morning of March 6, 2018 that Plaintiff now lives in
Wisconsin and has not communicated with his counsel in
several weeks. Id.
March 22, 2018, the court ordered Plaintiff to either (1) be
deposed by April 20, 2018 or arrange an extension of this
deadline; or (2) show cause by that date as to why he had not
done so. [ECF No. 78]. The Court's Order further stated
that failure to comply with the Order may result in
sanctions, including, but not limited to, dismissal of
Plaintiff's case in its entirety. Id.
to the April 20th deadline, Plaintiffs counsel filed the
instant motion to withdraw, citing an irreconcilable
breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. [ECF No. 79].
As stated in the motion, Plaintiffs counsel made the
following recent communications to their client:
1. Email to Plaintiff on February 2, 2018;
2. Email to Plaintiff on February 23, 2018;
3. Email to Plaintiff on February 27, 2018;
4. Email to Plaintiff on March 1, 2018;
5. Telephone call to Plaintiff on March 4, 2018;
6. Email to Plaintiff on March 4, 2018;
7. Telephone call to Plaintiff on March ...