Withdrawal Law and Legal Definition

State rules of procedure, which vary by state, govern the withdrawal of a motion, plea, or representation of a party. Usually, a withdrawal of an attorney is made in conjunction with a motion to substitute another attorney as the attorney of record in the case.

The folllowing is an example of a state rule governing withdrawal of attorneys:

1:11-2. Withdrawal or Substitution

(a) Generally. Except as otherwise provided by R. 5:3-5(d) (withdrawal in a civil family action),

  1. prior to the entry of a plea in a criminal action or prior to the earlier of the pretrial conference or the fixing of a trial date in a civil action, an attorney may withdraw upon the client's consent provided a substitution of attorney is filed naming the substituted attorney or indicating that the client will appear pro se. If the client will appear pro se, the withdrawing attorney shall file a substitution. An attorney retained by a client who had appeared pro se shall file a substitution, and
  2. after the entry of a plea in a criminal action or the earlier of the pretrial conference or fixing of a trial date in a civil action, an attorney may withdraw without leave of court only upon the filing of the client's written consent, a substitution of attorney executed by both the withdrawing attorney and the substituted attorney, a written waiver by all other parties of notice and the right to be heard, and a certification by both the withdrawing attorney and the substituted attorney that the withdrawal and substitution will not cause or result in delay.

(b) Professional Associations. If a partnership or attorney assumes the status of a professional corporation, or limited liability entity, pursuant to Rules 1:21-1A, 1:21-1B or 1:21-1C, respectively, or if a professional corporation or a limited liability entity for the practice of law dissolves and reverts to an unincorporated status, it shall not be necessary for the firm to file substitutions of attorney in its pending matters provided that the firm name, except for the addition or deletion of the entity designation, is not changed as a result of the change in status.