Law firm’s motion to withdraw from representing IPI in three cases opposed

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AN opposition to the notice of withdrawal filed by the law offices of O’Connor Berman Horey & Banes or OBHB, which represents Imperial Pacific International in three pending civil litigations, has been filed in federal court.

The lawsuits were filed by IPI’s former contractors: Pacific Rim Land Development LLC and USA Fanter Corporation.

Pacific Rim sued IPI for breach of promissory note in the amount of $5.65 million while USA Fanter sued IPI for breach of contract in the amount of $2 million, and defamation.

Both are represented by attorney Colin Thompson who said because of the “sensitive juncture of the case,” the court should deny OBHB’s withdrawal request.

Thompson said the court should deny the motion until OBHB provides a compelling reason and a new counsel that is prepared to take over the case and has a legitimate plan for meeting the court’s deadlines.

Moreover, Thompson said the court should require IPI to post a cash bond in the amount of $2,089,000 for delaying the trial.

He said the court should also issue “an unequivocal warning that a proposed change of counsel will in no way justify any delay and IPI must meticulously comply with each and every aspect of the court’s order or it will face severe sanctions.”

He said in the lawsuit filed by USA Fanter, IPI and the plaintiff had concluded their second day of mediation as the court ordered. A bench trial was scheduled for June 24, 2020.

In the Pacific Rim lawsuit, Thompson reiterated the same objection: the substituting attorney must first make an appearance before the court granted the request.

In the defamation lawsuit, USA Fanter is represented by attorney Samuel Mok who also opposed the motion for withdrawal filed by OBHB.

Mok said the granting of IPI’s motion of counsel to withdraw should be conditioned on the filing of a substitution of counsel of IPI; or, in the alternative, the inclusion of a warning of the possible consequences of its failure to retain new counsel.

Attorney Cong Nie of OBHB filed the notices of motion and motion to withdraw as counsel in the three cases, saying that “lawyers should be mindful of their confidentiality obligations owed to their clients.”

He added, “Should the [federal] court require additional information as to the basis for the withdrawal, OBHB respectfully requests the court to permit OBHB to submit confidential client information under seal.”





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