If an attorney is leaving a law firm and is the attorney of record on an existing case in the Middle District, it is extremely important that a Withdrawal of Appearance and Entry of Appearance is filed prior to the attorney's termination in the law firm. There are several reasons for this:
1. The attorney leaving the firm has an e-mail address with the law firm he or she is leaving on record with the court. This e-mail address will probably be disabled by the law firm as soon as the attorney terminates their employment. The electronic notices in ECF will continue to go the terminated attorney's e-mail address at this firm. If the e-mail address is disabled at the law firm, no one will receive the electronic notice. If a withdrawal/entry of appearance has not been filed prior to the attorney leaving the firm, law firms should NOT disable the e-mail account of the attorney leaving the firm until another attorney in the firm enters his/her appearance. The law firm should designate someone in the firm to check this e-mail account for ECF notices until an entry of appearance has been filed with the court.
2. If the attorney leaving the firm is taking active cases with him/her to their new location, this attorney needs to change their e-mail address with the court as soon as possible. If he or she does not, they will not receive electronic notices from ECF because the old law firm's e-mail address will still be on record with the court. To change an e-mail address, the attorney can click on Utilities and then click on "Maintain My Account" or they can send a letter to the Clerk's Office updating their ECF information and mailing address information.
TO AVOID THESE PROBLEMS, attorneys should submit an e-mail address of a support person within the law firm when registering for ECF, so ECF notices continue to go to a generic e-mail address within the law firm in the event an attorney should leave the firm.