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Transcontinental Refrigerated Lines, Inc. v. New Prime, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

September 29, 2014

TRANSCONTINENTAL REFRIGERATED LINES, INC., by LAWRENCE V. YOUNG, ESQ., liquidating agent, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW PRIME, INC., et al., Defendants.

ORDER

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER, Chief District Judge.

AND NOW, this 29th day of September, 2014, upon consideration of the motion (Doc. 133) for reconsideration of the court's September 23, 2014 order (Doc. 132) denying the motion (Doc. 126) to withdraw as counsel filed by filed by David J. Solfanelli and Eugene C. Kelley, of the law firm Kelley, Polishan, Walsh & Solf (collectively "counsel"), wherein the court observed that there is no indication in the record that defendants Stephen P. Hrobuchak, Cherry Marine, LLC, and S&M Leasing, Inc. (collectively "defendants") have formally discharged counsel, and thus denied counsel's motion to withdraw given the various concerns cited by plaintiff debtor Transcontinental Refrigerated Lines, Inc. ("Transcontinental"), to wit, that withdrawal will delay trial, prevent completion of discovery, prejudice remaining parties, and frustrate the orderly administration of justice, (Doc. 132 at 1-2 (citing Doc. 131 ¶¶ 1, 9)), but it appearing from counsel's instant motion (Doc. 133) and its appended affidavit that the defendants now have formally discharged counsel, (see Doc. 133 ¶ 7; Doc. 133-1 ¶¶ 5 (sworn affidavit of defendant Hrobuchak advising, individually and as principal of the corporate defendants, that counsel have been discharged)), and the court noting that the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct require a lawyer to withdraw from representation when discharged by the client, see PA. RULES OF PROF'L CONDUCT 1.16(a)(3); see also LOCAL RULE OF COURT 83.23.2 (adopting Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct), and it further appearing that defendant Hrobuchak understands and accepts that judgment will be entered against unrepresented corporate defendants in the event they fail to obtain substitute counsel, see Lawson v. Nat'l Continental-Progressive Ins. Co., 347 F.App'x 741, 742 n.1 (3d Cir. 2009) ("[A] corporation... cannot proceed as a pro se litigant... [and] a non-attorney may not represent the interests of a corporation in federal court.") (citing Rowland v. Cali. Men's Colony , 506 U.S. 194, 201-02 (1993)); see also Falato v. Fotografixusa, LLC, No. 09-5232, 2013 2013 WL 3873260, at *1 (D.N.J. July 25, 2013) ("Default judgment is appropriate when a corporation is represented pro se. ") (citing Dougherty v. Snyder , 469 F.App'x 71, 72-73 (3d Cir. 2012)), it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The motion (Doc. 133) for reconsideration filed by David J. Solfanelli and Eugene C. Kelley, of the law firm Kelley, Polishan, Walsh & Solf is GRANTED.
2. The Clerk of Court is directed to TERMINATE David J. Solfanelli and Eugene C. Kelley, of the law firm Kelley, Polishan, Walsh & Solf, as counsel for defendants Stephen P. Hrobuchak, Cherry Marine, LLC, and S&M Leasing, Inc., forthwith.
3. The Clerk of Court is directed to DESIGNATE Stephen P. Hrobuchak as a pro se party.
4. If substitute counsel does not enter an appearance on behalf of Cherry Marine, LLC, and S&M Leasing, Inc. within thirty (30) days of the date of this order, the court will enter judgment in favor of plaintiff debtor and against defendants Cherry Marine, LLC, and S&M Leasing, Inc. See Lawson, 347 F.App'x at 742 n.1.

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