Cofix and Cofizz, Lawyer Requests to Relinquish Representation

withdrawal

Israel trademark applications 261549 and 256612 for Cofizz and Cofix are considered competing marks.

Guy Ophir  is the agent of record for Mizrach and Amsalem, the applicants for Israel Trademark application number 261549 for Cofizz. On 21 September 2014 Adv Ophir requested to relinquish representation of his clients. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jacqueline Bracha asked Adv. Ophir how relinquishing him of his responsibilities would not adversely affect his client’s rights and cause the scheduled hearing to be delayed.

On 5 October 2014, Adv. Ophir submitted an affidavit to support his request. He detailed the steps he’d made to contact his clients, including proof that registered mail to his clients had been delivered.

Section 13 of the Israel Bar Law 1986 details professional ethical requirements for lawyers.  It requires that the lawyer acts promptly if he wishes to withdraw his representation and that the attorney receives dispensation from the court that is hearing the case. More details are set up in Appeal 15/05 Adv. Blatter et al. vs. Amitai Yigaeli 2005.  As stated by Judge Gronis, a central consideration is that hearings should not be postponed, leaving the court with empty slots. and that the opposing side may not want the hearing postponed and their wishes should be considered. As mentioned by Kling (the Commissioner’s father, Judge Kling) in Legal Ethics pages 344 and 345 (2001), a further consideration is the stage at which a proceeding has reached.

In this instance, a hearing has been set for 28 December 2014. The Deputy Commissioner has ruled that she is prepared to allow Adv. Ophir to withdraw from the case provided that the parties are contacted regarding the scheduled hearing at their registered address.

COMMENT

Details of why Adv. Ophir wishes to withdraw his representation is not clear. It does seem, however, that his clients are aware that he wishes to withdraw and are not responding to him.

I once had a client on Big Brother, where we had a contentious issue at the patent office, and a corresponding case (handled by a different firm) in the Jerusalem District Court. We could see the client on TV but couldn’t get instructions from him. Other clients have moved without updating addresses, etc. I can certainly sympathize with an attorney whose client is unresponsive. Here is seems that the client is aware that representation is being withdrawn, so it does seem fair.

 

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