Motion to Continue the Trial Where Defense Lawyer Withdrew from the Case

In Shankle v. Shankle, 289 N.C. 473, 482, 223 S.E.2d 380, 386 (1976), the Supreme Court held the trial court abused its discretion in denying a motion to continue the trial where defense counsel withdrew from the case without any prior notice to the defendants on the day of trial. 289 N.C. at 486, 223 S.E.2d at 388. In Smith v. Bryant, 264 N.C. 208, 141 S.E.2d 303 (1965), the Supreme Court held denial of a motion to continue a trial was improper where defense counsel withdrew a day before trial. 264 N.C. at 212, 141 S.E.2d at 306. In contrast to Smith and Shankle, this Court in Roberson v. Roberson, 65 N.C. App. 404, 309 S.E.2d 520 (1983), determined where defendant had ample opportunity to locate new counsel, there was no abuse in discretion in denying defendant's oral motion to continue to find new counsel. In Roberson, defendant allowed her counsel to withdraw because she wanted to find new counsel, the trial court was informed defendant was in contact with other attorneys, and at the time the trial court allowed counsel to withdraw, it informed defendant she would have three weeks to locate new counsel. Id. at 406-07, 309 S.E.2d at 522.