LEO: Withdrawal from Employment LE Op. 435
Withdrawal from Employment.
November 3, 1981
An attorney agreed to represent a prisoner in a habeas corpus petition
which the prisoner had file pro se. The attorney's representation was pro
bono publico. After undertaking representation and noting appearance in
court, the attorney formed the opinion that the claim was without merit
and explained to his client the reasons for his conclusion. The attorney
advised the client that he desired to withdraw, and the client agreed.
Thereupon, the attorney sought permission from the court to withdraw, but
did not advise the court of his reason for seeking withdrawal. The court
would not permit withdrawal without an explanation. It was the Legal
Ethics Committee's opinion that the attorney could not withdraw from
representing the client because to do so would require the attorney to
advise the court that, in his view, the petitioner's claim was meritless.
Such a representation would foreseeably prejudice the rights of the
attorney's client to a fair and impartial trial on the merits.
[See II: DR:2-107(A)(2); DR:2-108(A)(1); (B)(2) & (4), & (C); DR:4-
101(C)(2); DR:7-101(A)(3) & (B)(2); DR:7-102(A)(2); DR:7-105(C)(4).]
Committee Opinion November 3, 1981