RULE 11.2 WITHDRAWAL OF ATTORNEYS
1 (a) Notice of Withdrawal. An attorney's appearance for a party may only be
2 withdrawn upon leave of court. Reasonable notice of the motion for leave to
3 withdraw must be given by personal service, by registered or certified mail, or via
4 a third-party commercial carrier providing a traceable delivery, directed to the
5 party at the party's last known business or residence address. If the notice is
6 undeliverable, the attorney must submit an affidavit to the court reciting the efforts
7 made to give notice.
8 (b) Motion to Withdraw. The motion for leave to withdraw must be in
9 writing and, unless another attorney is substituted, must state the last known
10 address, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of the party represented.
11 (c) Withdrawal on Appeal. If a notice of appeal is filed in a matter, any
12 attorney seeking leave to withdraw must file the motion with the supreme court
14 (d) Limited Appearance. Rule 11.2 (a), (b), and (c) do not apply to attorneys
15 representing a party under a notice of limited appearance served under
16 N.D.R.Civ.P. 11(e) unless the attorney seeks to withdraw from the limited
17 appearance prior to its completion. Upon completion of the limited appearance, the
18 attorney must within 14 days file a "Certificate of Completion of Limited
19 Appearance" with the court. Copies of the certificate must be provided to the client
20 and served upon opposing counsel or opposing party if unrepresented. After the
21 filing, the attorney has no further obligation to represent the client. The filing of
22 the certificate is considered to be the attorney's withdrawal of appearance and does
23 not require court approval.
24 (e) Unfiled Cases. This rule does not apply to attorneys representing parties
25 in civil actions that have not been filed with the court.
26 EXPLANATORY NOTE
27 Rule 11.2 was amended, effective March 1, 1999; March 1, 2000; March 1,
28 2006; March 1, 2009; March 1, 2015; August 1, 2016; March 1, 2017.
29 The March 1, 1999, amendments allow notice via a commercial carrier
30 providing a traceable delivery service.
31 The March 1, 2000, amendments are stylistic.
32 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2015, to require the
33 attorney, when notice of withdrawal cannot be delivered, to submit an affidavit
34 regarding the efforts made to provide notice.
35 Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 2015, to require the
36 attorney to provide the court with any known party e-mail addresses or telephone
38 Subdivision (c) was added, effective March 1, 2006, to make it clear that an
39 attorney seeking to withdraw from representation in a matter that is on appeal must
40 file a motion for leave to withdraw with the supreme court clerk. The supreme
41 court clerk will refer withdrawal motions involving court appointed attorneys to
42 the trial court for decision and appointment of new counsel.
43 Subdivision (d) was added, effective March 1, 2009, to make it clear that an
44 attorney who serves a notice of limited representation to represent a party for one
45 or more matters in a case is not required to formally withdraw upon completion of
46 activity covered by the notice. Under N.D.R.Civ.P. 11(e), however, the attorney
47 must serve a notice of termination of limited representation when the attorney's
48 involvement ends. Rule 11.2 and N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 and 11 were amended to permit
49 attorneys to assist otherwise unrepresented parties on a limited basis without
50 undertaking full representation of the party.
51 Subdivision (d) was amended, effective August 1, 2016, to clarify the
52 attorney's responsibilities upon completing a limited appearance and to clarify that
53 court approval is not required when the attorney completes the limited appearance
54 and withdraws.
55 Subdivision (e) was added, effective______________, to clarify that an
56 attorney is not required to seek leave to withdraw under this rule if the action has
57 not been filed. Subdivision (e) does not modify an attorney's obligations under
58 N.D. Rule of Prof. Conduct 1.16.
59 SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of January 28-29, 2016,
60 page 24; September 24-25, 2015, pages 11-12; April 23-24, 2015, pages 16-25;
61 January 29-30, 2015, page 22; September 25-26, 2014, pages 3-4; April 24-25,
62 2014, pages 26-27; January 24, 2008, pages 2-7; October 11-12, 2007, pages
63 20-26; September 23-24, 2004, page 29; May 6-7, 1999, pages 15-16; January
64 29-30, 1998, page 22.
65 Cross Reference: N.D.R.Civ.P. 5 (Service and Filing of Pleadings and
66 Other Papers), N.D.R.Civ.P. 11 (Signing of Pleadings, Motions and Other Papers;
67 Representation to Court; Sanctions); N.D.R. Prof. Conduct 1.2 (Scope of
68 Representation); N.D. Rule of Prof. Conduct 1.16 (Declining or Terminating