Former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit must find a new lawyer to represent him in a defamation suit after his attorney withdrew from the case Wednesday, saying he believed it was meritless.
Mark E. Goidell asked to resign from the case in a Jan. 15 submission to the court, saying he now agrees with the attorney representing writer Dominick Dunne that "the defamation claim in this action is not warranted by existing law or by a non-frivolous argument for new law."
Goidell filed the lawsuit on Condit's behalf in November, claiming the writer made false claims about Condit's relationship with Chandra Levy, an intern who disappeared. He now says the suit seemed to rely essentially on the same statements _ made on the CNN show "Larry King Live" _ as a 2002 lawsuit that was settled under undisclosed terms.
At a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Peter K. Leisure said Condit has several weeks to find a new lawyer to represent him.
Condit and Dunne were not required to be in court Wednesday.
Goidell said Condit has been "extremely upset" since he asked to resign from the case. "I can truthfully say there were irreconcilable differences," he said.
The Associated Press was unable to locate a phone number Condit on Wednesday.
Condit, a former congressman from California, has denied any involvement in or knowledge of Levy's May 2001 disappearance, or her death. Her body was found in a park in Washington in May 2002. Condit reportedly told police he had an affair with Levy, but in a sworn deposition in an earlier defamation case, he denied being romantically involved with the intern and insisted "we were friends."