A Telephonic Status Conference held on April 15th has edged Mindset 24 defendants towards an SEC settlement.

As per the order, individual ex parte phone conferences with the court are to be scheduled. The April 15th order states this is ‘in order for the Court
to determine if further ADR is appropriate‘.

“ADR” being Alternative Dispute Resolution which, if successful, will lead to a settlement between the parties.

Throwing a potential spanner in the works is defendant John Brian McLane’s attorney wanting out.

On April 11th, four days before the scheduled teleconference, McLane’s attorney filed a Motion to Withdraw. The cited reason for the requested withdrawal was “professional considerations”.

I punched that into Google, along with “attorney withdraw”, and this came up from the Bar Association;

A lawyer ordinarily must decline or withdraw from representation if the client demands that the lawyer engage in conduct that is illegal or violates the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

I can’t say for sure whether that applies, as written, so McLane’s relationship with his pending former attorney. Within an undefined broader context though, it sounds like McLane (right) isn’t taking his SEC lawsuit too well.

As part of the Motion to Withdraw, McLane’s attorney requested a 90 day stay on existing scheduled pre-trial dates.

On April 12th, the SEC filed a response to the request. Noting they had “no position” on McLane’s attorney’s withdrawal request, the SEC objected to the requested delay.

If, as the Motion intimates, Defendant McLane previously was made aware of Mr. Flynn’s intended withdrawal, then McLane already should have made arrangements to retain substitute counsel.

If he has not done so, the SEC believes an abbreviated period of 30 days to retain counsel would be more appropriate.

The SEC would like to proceed with the remaining pre-trial deadlines set forth in the Amended Scheduling Order as expeditiously as possible.

At the April 15th hearing, the court took the withdrawal motion under advisement. Scheduled deadlines have nonetheless been put on hold, pending resolution of current settlement discussions.

The SEC sued defendants Brian McClane and Paul Anthony Nash last year. The regulator alleges the pair’s company, Mindset 24, was a $1 million plus Ponzi scheme.

In an unusual move, Paul Nash has thus far opted to represent himself.