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Sobol v. District Court of Arapahoe County

619 P.2d 765 (1980)

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Sobol v. District Court of Arapahoe County

Colorado Supreme Court

619 P.2d 765 (1980)

Facts

Helen Sterling (defendant) retained Ellis Sobol and his law firm Zuckerman & Sobol, P.C. (collectively, Sobol) (plaintiffs) to represent her in her capacity as administratix of her deceased husband’s estate. At Sterling’s request, Sobol brought a civil action against a law firm. Sobol moved to withdraw 10 months before the case was scheduled for trial because of disputes with Sterling that Sobol claimed made it impossible for Sobol to effectively represent Sterling. Sobol argued that Sterling had been uncooperative, had criticized their handling of the litigation, had withheld material information, and had repeatedly contacted opposing counsel. The Arapahoe County District Court (trial court) (defendant) granted the motion and gave Sterling 30 days to find new counsel. Sterling moved for rehearing. The trial court affirmed the ruling but ordered Sobol to assist Sterling in finding new counsel. Despite Sobol’s efforts to help Sterling find alternative counsel, Sterling was unable to secure new counsel. Although the mutual hostility between Sterling and Sobol had intensified, the trial court concluded that Sterling would be prejudiced by the lack of legal representation and, reversing its prior ruling, denied Sobol’s motion for leave to withdraw. Sobol petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court for reversal of the trial court’s ruling.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rovira, J.)

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