United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JHB INVESTMENTS LLC and JOHN H. BAGLEY, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF WEST BEND, GWENN SOLDNER TJ JUSTICE, and KURTIS McMAHON, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTION TO WITHDRAW BY
ATTORNEY REQUIRING PLAINTIFFS TO APPEAR BY COUNSEL AT HEARING
ON APRIL 24, 2018 AT11:00 A.M. OR FACE DISMISSAL FOR FAILURE
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 5, 2017, the defendants removed this case from
Washington County Circuit Court to the federal court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin. Dkt. No. 1. The plaintiffs did
not move for remand.
February 17, 2017, the court received a letter from Attorney
Aaron DeKosky of Padway & Padway, Ltd., indicating that
the plaintiffs had hired him to represent them. Dkt. No. 10.
Attorney DeKosky came on board, the parties stipulated to the
dismissal of some of the defendants, the plaintiffs filed an
amended complaint, and the four above-named defendants
answered that complaint. The court conducted the Rule 16
scheduling conference on October 5, 2017, and issued an order
setting a deadline of April 30, 2018 for the close of
discovery and a dispositive motions deadline of May 16, 2018.
Dkt. No. 21.
December 29, 2017-days before the deadline the court had set
for the plaintiffs to disclose the identities of their expert
witnesses-Attorney DeKosky filed an unopposed motion to
withdraw from representing the plaintiffs. Dkt. No. 22. The
motion stated nothing further than that counsel had good
cause for withdrawing, and that the plaintiffs did not
the fact that the plaintiffs had no objection to the motion,
the court had concerns. Plaintiff JHB Investments, LLC is a
limited liability corporation. Under Wisconsin law, a
corporate entity, such as an LLC, must be represented by a
lawyer in any court proceedings. Individual defendant John
Bagley has the right to represent himself, if he chooses to
do so, but he cannot, by law, represent JHB Investments, LLC.
The court wanted to make sure plaintiff Bagley understood
this before granting Attorney DeKosky's motion to
withdraw. So the court scheduled a hearing for February 5,
2018, and ordered that plaintiff John Bagley be present in
person at the hearing. The court issued the notice for that
hearing on January 23, 2018-almost two weeks before the
scheduled hearing date.
appointed date and time, Attorney DeKoskey appeared, as did
Attorney Martell (representing the defendants). Dkt. No. 23.
Contrary to the court's order, however, plaintiff John
Bagley did not appear, nor did he contact the court to say
that he could not come, or that he would be late. Attorney
DeKosky indicated, without going into much detail, that he
had had difficulty communicating with plaintiff Bagley. He
did say that he had talked with plaintiff Bagley in the
recent past, and had told him about the hearing. Defense
counsel informed the court that he had complied with his
discovery obligations, and that he hoped that the case could
continue moving forward. The court stated that it would reach
out to plaintiff Bagley, and then would schedule another
hearing once it had talked with Bagley about timing.
court since has attempted to reach plaintiff Bagley, to
schedule a hearing for a date he might be able to attend.
First, the court's staff emailed Bagley. He did not
respond. Next, the court's staff called Bagley, who
indicated that he had gotten the email, and that he had
forwarded it to someone. When asked about dates for a
hearing, plaintiff Bagley indicated that he was not in his
office, and asked the court's staff to call him back
later that afternoon. When staff called later that afternoon,
Bagley said he was in his car and could not discuss dates. He
asked staff to call him at 9:00 the next morning. Staff did
so, and the phone went to voice-mail; staff left a message
asking Bagley to call back to discuss the hearing dates. Mr.
Bagley did not call back.
that the court is having difficulty communicating with
Bagley, just as his counsel has had difficulty, the court
will grant counsel's motion to withdraw. Counsel should
not be required to remain on a case where the client is not
Bagley and JHB Investments brought this case. If they wish to
pursue it, they must follow the court's rules, and must
follow the law. The court has scheduled a hearing for April
24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 208 of the federal courthouse
at 517 East Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The plaintiffs
must appear at that hearing if they wish to pursue this case
further. Plaintiff John Bagley may represent himself, if he
chooses to do so, but he must appear at the hearing
regardless. JHB Investments must appear at the hearing
represented by a lawyer. John
Bagley may not appear for JHB Investments on April 24.
party wishing to appear by telephone at the April 24 hearing
may do so by calling the court's conference line at
1-888-557-8511 and dialing access code 4893665#.
court GRANTS the motion of Attorney Aaron
DeKosky/Padway & Padway, Inc. to withdraw from
representing the plaintiffs. Dkt. No. 22. The court
ORDERS that all parties shall appear at the
hearing scheduled for April 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.; while
John Bagley may appear on his own behalf, the court
ORDERS that JHB Investments, LLC must appear
plaintiffs do not appear, either by phone or in person, at
the April 24, 2018 hearing, the court will dismiss this case