Policy on Firm Splits and Lawyers Leaving Practice

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Upon a lawyer leaving his firm, or leaving the active practice of bankruptcy law, in addition to following the rules of the North Carolina State Bar --


  1. All clients with whom the lawyer dealt should get a client choice letter in the form authorized by the State Bar.
  2. Upon receiving a written directive from the client, the lawyer should file a motion with the Bankruptcy Court, with the directive attached. Orders providing for the substitution of counsel of record under these motions will be entered ex parte, unless a hearing is requested by counsel or ordered by the court.
  3. If after a reasonable period of time, no directive is received from the client, previous counsel of record shall remain counsel of record; or, if that is not possible, then counsel of record shall file a motion to withdraw which will be set for hearing.
  4. All Chapter 13 fees previously awarded but unpaid will be held by the 13 office pending instructions from the firms involved. Once the firms reach an agreement or the issue is otherwise resolved by arbitration or by entry of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction, the Chapter 13 office will disburse the fees commensurate with such resolution.  When there has been a resolution as to where the fees should be paid, that resolution shall be set forth in the motion contemplated above, or in a separate motion filed with the court.  Any fees awarded after notice of the breakup (such as menu items, etc.) will be paid as ordered by the court.