DR 2-110 Withdrawal from Employment
A. In General.
- If permission for withdrawal from employment is required by the rules of a tribunal, a
lawyer shall not withdraw from employment in a proceeding before that tribunal without its
- In any event, a lawyer shall not withdraw from employment until he has taken reasonable
steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the rights of his client, including giving due
notice to his client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, delivering to the
client all papers and property to which the client is entitled, and complying with
applicable laws and rules.
- A lawyer who withdraws from employment shall refund promptly any part of a fee paid in
advance that has not been earned.
B. Mandatory withdrawal.
A lawyer representing a client before a tribunal, with its permission if required by
its rules, shall withdraw from employment, if:
- He knows or it is obvious that his client is bringing the legal action, conducting the
defense, or asserting a position in the litigation, or is otherwise having steps taken for
him, merely for the purpose of harassing or maliciously injuring any person.
- He knows or it is obvious that his continued employment will result in violation of a
- His mental or physical condition renders it unreasonably difficult for him to carry out
the employment effectively.
- He is discharged by his client.
C. Permissive Withdrawal.
If DR 2-110(B) is not applicable, a lawyer may not request permission to withdraw in
matters pending before a tribunal, and may not withdraw in other matters, unless such
request or such withdrawal is because:
1. His client:
- Insists upon presenting a claim or defense that is not warranted under existing law and
cannot be supported by good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of
- Personally seeks to pursue an illegal course of conduct.
- Insists that the lawyer pursue a course of conduct that is illegal or that is prohibited
under the Disciplinary Rules.
- By other conduct renders it unreasonably difficult for the lawyer to carry out his
- Insists, in a matter not pending before a tribunal, that the lawyer engage in conduct
that is contrary to the judgment and advice of the lawyer but not prohibited under the
- Deliberately disregards an agreement or obligation to the lawyer as to the expenses or
2. His continued employment is likely to result in a violation of a Disciplinary
3. His inability to work with co-counsel indicates that the best interests of the
client likely will be served by withdrawal.
4. His mental or physical condition renders it difficult for him to carry out the
5. His client knowingly and freely assents to termination of his employment.
6. He believes in good faith, in a proceeding pending before a tribunal, that the
tribunal will find the existence of other good cause for withdrawal.