Calvert v. Dolgencorp,Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING AS MOOT 462 MOTION to Enforce The Settlement Agreement And, In The Alternative, for A Declaratory Judgment, DENYING AS MOOT 470 MOTION for Leave to File a Surreply in Opposition to Wiggins, Childs, Quinn & Pantazis, LLCs Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement or for a Declaratory Judgment. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 8/2/2013. (JLC)
2013 Aug-02 PM 03:07
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
WANDA WOMACK, et al.,
DOLGENCORP., INC.; d/b/a
DOLLAR GENERAL, et al.,
TINA M. WOOD, et al.
DOLGENCORP., INC.; d/b/a
DOLLAR GENERAL, et al.,
LEAD CASE NUMBER:
MEMBER CASE NUMBER:
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case comes before the court on the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Enforce the
Settlement Agreement and, in the Alternative, for a Declaratory Judgment. (Doc.
462). The motion actually seeks relief for plaintiffs’ counsel, as to the following
respondents who were not parties to this action: Allen Schreiber; Mark Petro;
Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.; and Schreiber and Petro, P.C.
The movants claim that “[t]he Respondents’ [sic] have demanded payment of fees
from Class Counsel pursuant to the attorney’s [sic] fee portion of the Settlement
Agreement the Court approved in this action.” (Doc. 462, at 3). They ask the court
to determine whether the respondents are entitled to attorneys’ fees in this action.
The movants invoke this court’s “continuing jurisdiction to enforce the Settlement
Agreement in this case (Doc. 455 at 7) and the [c]ourt’s supplemental jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. §1367(a).” (Doc. 462, at 1).
In response to the motion, the respondents have filed a brief, an “Answer and
Counterclaim,” and evidentiary materials. (Docs. 464-466). The movants have
replied with another brief and evidence of their own. (Docs. 468, 469). The
respondents have filed a motion for leave to file a surreply (doc. 470), which the
movants have opposed (doc. 471). The respondents have filed a reply to the
opposition to the motion for surreply. (Doc. 472).
Because it does not have jurisdiction over this controversy, the motions will be
DENIED as MOOT.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
On July 23, 2012, this court approved an initial attorneys’ fee award for the
movants in the amount of $3.25 million. (Doc. 455). Thereafter, the court approved
an additional $3 million attorneys’ fee award to the movants.
Respondents seek to recover from the movants a portion of the combined $6.25
million attorneys’ fee award.
Although this court’s jurisdiction is not disputed by the parties, the court
always has the “power” and “obligation” to examine whether it has subject matter
jurisdiction. Moreno Farms, Inc. v. Tomato Thyme Corp., 490 F. App’x 187, 188
(11th Cir. 2012) (citing Fitzgerald v. Seaboard Sys. R.R., Inc., 760 F.2d 1249, 1251
(11th Cir.1985) and Philbrook v. Glodgett, 421 U.S. 707, 95 S.Ct. 1893, 44 L.Ed.2d
This Court Lacks Jurisdiction
This court has “original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and
is between . . . citizens of different States[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Federal courts also
have original jurisdiction to hear a controversy “arising under the Constitution, laws,
or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.A. § 1331. Although the amount in
controversy in this attorneys’ fee dispute is more than $75,000, jurisdiction under
section 1332 fails because at least one party on both sides of the dispute is a citizen
of Alabama. Further, “[a]ttorneys’ fee arrangements . . . are matters primarily of state
contract law.” Novinger v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Inc., 809 F.2d 212, 217
(3d Cir. 1987). Accordingly, there is no federal question jurisdiction under section
Still, the movants insist that this court has “ancillary jurisdiction” over the
dispute. “[T]he doctrine of ancillary jurisdiction . . . recognizes federal courts’
jurisdiction over some matters (otherwise beyond their competence) that are
incidental to other matters properly before them.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 378, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 1676, 128 L. Ed. 2d 391 (1994). “In
passing 28 U.S.C. § 1367, part of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Congress
codified under the name of ‘supplemental jurisdiction’ the caselaw doctrines of
‘pendent’ and ‘ancillary’ jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367 (commentary); see also,
Palmer v. Hosp. Auth. of Randolph Cnty., 22 F.3d 1559, 1563 n. 3 (11th Cir. 1994)
(“Formerly known as pendent and ancillary jurisdiction, such grounds for the exercise
of federal subject matter jurisdiction have now been codified in 28 U.S.C. § 1367.”).
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1367 provides:
Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) or as expressly provided
otherwise by Federal statute, in any civil action of which the district
courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have
supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to
claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part
of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States
Constitution. Such supplemental jurisdiction shall include claims that
involve the joinder or intervention of additional parties.
28 U.S.C.A. § 1367(a).
The Eleventh Circuit recognizes supplemental jurisdiction over fee disputes
between attorneys and clients. In Broughten v. Voss, 634 F.2d 880 (5th Cir. 1981),1
Judge Tjoflat noted that “there is a long tradition of sustaining jurisdiction to
determine fees due an attorney dismissed by a client in a pending action.” Broughten,
634 F.2d at 882. He then explained:
The basis for exercise of this ancillary jurisdiction is the
responsibility of the court to protect its officers . . . and the power of the
court “to do full and complete justice.” . . . [When counsel is discharged]
it is incumbent on the court to assure that the prosecution of the lawsuit
before it is not disrupted by the withdrawal of counsel, and that the
withdrawal of counsel is for good cause. This by itself is adequate to
protect the interests of the parties before the court and assure fair
treatment of the court's officers. If, upon withdrawal, counsel is unable
to secure payment for his services, the court may assume jurisdiction
over a claim based on a charging lien over the proceeds of the lawsuit.
Id. at 882-83. Citing Broughten, and addressing the matter in the context of the
supplemental jurisdiction statute, the Eleventh Circuit recently stated that “[t]he
existence of an attorney’s lien against a party’s recovery in a lawsuit is part of the
same case or controversy as the underlying lawsuit.” Moreno Farms, 490 F. App’x
In Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir.1981) (en banc), the Eleventh
Circuit adopted as binding precedent the decisions of the former Fifth Circuit issued before
October 1, 1981.
at 1882 (citing Broughten, 634 F.2d at 883); Doggett v. Deauville Corp., 148 F.2d
881, 883 (5th Cir.1945)); see also, Zaklama v. Mount Sinai Medical Center, 906 F.2d
650 (11th Cir.1990) (adjudicating a post-judgment attorneys’ fee dispute under
Florida law charging liens).
These cases are distinguishable from the instant case. Broughten and Moreno
Farms both involved an attorney’s fee lien against the attorney’s client/party. The
Eleventh Circuit found jurisdiction present in both cases. Broughten explained that
supplemental jurisdiction existed because the court must “protect its officers” to
ensure that they are paid, lest the proceedings be “disrupted.” In the instant case, the
case is closed. There are no proceedings to be “disrupted.” Further, the fee to the
plaintiffs’ attorneys has already been approved and awarded by the court. A decision
on the dispute between the movants and the respondents cannot have any impact on
the amount of money that the plaintiffs will receive or that the defendants will pay.
Rather, the only issue is whether the plaintiffs’ attorneys must pay to other attorneys
some portion — and, if so, how much — of the attorneys’ fees already awarded by
The Eleventh Circuit has not spoken on the issue of whether or not, absent an
“Unpublished opinions are not considered binding precedent, but they may be cited as
persuasive authority.” 11th Cir. R. 36-2.
attorney lien, supplemental jurisdiction exists as to fee disputes between lawyers
representing the same clients. The court has found the opinions of only three circuits
which have addressed this issue.
In the Second Circuit case of Grimes v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 565 F.2d 841
(2d Cir. 1977), the claim was for personal injury. After several days of trial, the case
was settled with court approval. Hirschhorn was attorney of record for Mr. and Mrs.
Grimes, the plaintiffs in the Grimes litigation. Edelman was the Grimeses’ trial
counsel. On March 2, 1977, before all of the settlement checks had been received,
Edelman commenced a suit in state court, naming Hirschhorn and the plaintiffs as
defendants. Hirschhorn moved that the federal court require deposit of the settlement
funds into the court’s registry and supervise the distribution of the funds among the
Grimeses, Edelman, and Hirschhorn. The court granted the motion and held a hearing
on the matter of disbursements, after which it rejected some of Edelman’s claims for
disbursements, and set out how the money should be disbursed.
Edelman appealed, contending that the district court lacked subject matter
jurisdiction to supervise the distribution of the settlement funds. He argued that,
“although the determination of the disbursements questions would affect the
distribution of the monies, the controversy was a simple contract dispute between
Edelman and Hirschhorn, both citizens of New York State; thus, he claim[ed] that no
federal question or diversity jurisdiction [existed].” Grimes, 565 F.2d at 843.
The Second Circuit held that ancillary jurisdiction was present, writing:
The Supreme Court has established that the exercise of ancillary
jurisdiction is appropriate where the subsidiary controversy “has direct
relation to property or assets actually or constructively drawn into the
court’s possession or control by the principal suit.” Fulton National
Bank of Atlanta v. Hozier, 267 U.S. 276, 280, 45 S.Ct. 261, 262, 69
L.Ed. 609 (1925). Under these standards, the District Court’s
distribution of the Grimes settlement funds and its determination of
appropriate disbursements was clearly ancillary to its approval of the
settlement in the case. See also Schmidt v. Zazzara, 544 F.2d 412 (9th
Cir. 1976); State of Iowa v. Union Asphalt & Roadoils, Inc., 409 F.2d
1239 (8th Cir. 1969).
Id. at 844.
The Fourth Circuit addressed the issue in Taylor v. Kelsey, 666 F.2d 53 (4th
Cir.1981). In that case, the court summarized the facts as follows:
Kelsey [an attorney] instituted an action against Allied Chemical
Corporation and others on behalf of a large group of plaintiffs who were
damaged when the defendants released the pesticide Kepone into the
James River at Hopewell, Virginia. In August, 1979, Kelsey decided to
bring in Taylor, a Richmond, Virginia attorney, as co-counsel because
of Taylor’s prior experience in Kepone litigation. Correspondence
between the two indicates that Taylor was to receive one-third of
Kelsey’s contingent fee if the case settled, and one-half of the fee if the
case went to trial.
In October, 1979, Allied Chemical proposed a settlement. Kelsey
decided that he no longer needed Taylor’s assistance, and informed
Taylor that their association was terminated. Taylor asserted that he was
entitled to one-third of the contingent fee, and gave written notice of his
claim for an attorney’s lien pursuant to Virginia Code § 54-70.
On April 2, 1980, Taylor filed a motion to intervene in the
Kepone litigation and to add Kelsey as an intervenor for the purpose of
settling the fee dispute. The district court found that the dispute bore no
relationship to the Kepone litigation and had no effect upon either the
litigants or the outcome of the case. The court further found that it did
not have control of the funds in controversy, and that neither judicial
economy nor fairness militated in favor of federal jurisdiction. Upon
these findings, the court concluded that the fee dispute was outside its
Taylor, 666 F.2d at 54. The Fourth Circuit agreed with the district court, writing:
We agree with the district court. The fee dispute did not arise as
a matter of necessity from anything which occurred in the proceedings
of the Kepone litigation, nor did the district court have control over the
fee in the sense that the court was required to establish and distribute a
fee. Instead, the controversy arose purely from a private contract dispute
between two Virginia residents. Under these circumstances, we see no
basis for ancillary jurisdiction.
The movants cite the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Baer v. First Options of
Chicago, Inc., 72 F.3d 1294 (7th Cir. 1995). In that case, the plaintiff, Baer, filed a
Title VII lawsuit against her employer. Baer originally was represented in her suit by
a Chicago law firm, but she was not satisfied with the representation and sought the
advice of another attorney. She contacted Antoniono, who did not have the expertise
to assist her, but offered to help her find another attorney. Antoniono found Strauss,
a partner at the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland (“Davis
Miner”), who agreed to handle Baer’s case. The three then negotiated a retainer
agreement which included
a “fee-sharing” arrangement between Mr. Strauss and Mr. Antoniono.
Although it was understood that Mr. Strauss would do most of the work,
Mr. Antoniono was to be compensated for his referral through the feesharing arrangement. The arrangement provided that Mr. Antoniono
would receive 10% of the first $100,000 recovered in fees and 40% of
any amount recovered in excess of $100,000.
Baer, 72 F.3d at 1296. The court wrote:
Ms. Baer’s case settled in early 1994. During the course of the
litigation and settlement, however, a dispute arose between Mr.
Antoniono and Mr. Strauss concerning the fees to which each was
entitled. The settlement agreement, negotiated by Mr. Strauss on behalf
of Ms. Baer, recognized the dispute. Under its terms, the fees for each
attorney were calculated by multiplying the number of hours worked by
the hourly rate of each. Mr. Antoniono received the full calculated
amount of his fees. Davis Miner received all but $50,000 of its
calculated fees. In its order approving the settlement and dismissing the
case with prejudice, the district court directed that this disputed amount,
$50,000, be paid into an escrow account held by the clerk of the court.
The amount was subsequently reduced to $42,341.
Id. Eventually, the district court awarded the disputed fees to Antoniono under the
terms of the original fee-sharing agreement.
On appeal, the Seventh Circuit raised the jurisdiction issue sua sponte. After
discussing the concept of ancillary jurisdiction and 28 U.S.C. § 1367, the court
reviewed the Grimes and Taylor opinions. It then wrote:
[a]lthough the facts before the Taylor court required a different
result, the approach of the Second Circuit and the Fourth Circuit are
quite compatible. Our case is much more similar to the situation that was
before the Second Circuit in Grimes. Here, in contrast to Taylor, the
district court exercised affirmative control over the disputed fee. The
settlement agreement, which was brought to the district court for its
approval and for an order dismissing the case, specifically
acknowledged the dispute and included a provision for resolving it. The
court had jurisdiction to approve the parties’ independently negotiated
settlement, and that jurisdiction of necessity encompassed the terms of
the settlement agreement. We thus conclude that the court did not
overreach its authority to resolve the dispute concerning the fees.
Moreover, the underlying litigation was a Title VII case, and Title VII
vests in the district court broad authority to award attorney’s fees to the
prevailing party. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k). This authority over fees is not
extinguished by the parties’ settlement of their case; a district court may
decline to approve a settlement if it determines that the amount of fees
set by the parties is unreasonable. Foster v. Boise-Cascade, Inc., 577
F.2d 335 (5th Cir.1978).
Under these circumstances, we hold that this dispute was part of
the same “case or controversy” as the underlying litigation. The district
court, therefore, had supplemental jurisdiction to hear this dispute.
Id. at 1301 (emphasis supplied) (footnote omitted).
Importantly, in 2007, the Seventh Circuit distinguished Baer on facts similar
to those in the instant case. In Cooper v. IBM Pers. Pension Plan, 240 F. App’x 133,
(7th Cir. 2007), the law firm of Carr Korein Tillery, LLC, was lead counsel in an
ERISA action. Before the case ended, Carr, one of the partners in that firm, withdrew
from the partnership. Once the case resolved, Carr and his former firm then disagreed
over the distribution of the fee. The Seventh Circuit found no jurisdiction, writing:
As the district court concluded, there is no subject-matter jurisdiction.
The dispute between Carr and his ex-partners arises under a contract. It
is unrelated to the dispute between Cooper and IBM, so it cannot be
adjudicated under the supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367
(only claims that are part of a single case or controversy come within the
supplemental jurisdiction). See also, e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Insurance Co. of America, 511 U.S. 375, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d
391 (1994) (disputes arising from separate contracts require an
independent grant of jurisdiction). The exception for agreements
incorporated into the judgment does not apply here. See Baer v. First
Options of Chicago, Inc., 72 F.3d 1294 (7th Cir.1995), which holds that
a controversy about the allocation of attorneys’ fees may be resolved in
federal court only if the original judgment covers that subject. See also
Bounougias v. Peters, 369 F.2d 247 (7th Cir.1966).
Id. at 135 (emphasis added).3
Cooper was distinguished by the Tenth Circuit in Edwards v. Doe, 331 F.
App’x 563 (10th Cir. 2009), a case in which an attorney lien was claimed. In
Edwards, the law firm of Holden & Carr entered into a fee agreement with Edwards,
the plaintiff. Capron, then a member of Holden & Carr, negotiated and prepared the
Fee Agreement and executed it on behalf of the firm. Holden & Carr then filed a
personal injury lawsuit in federal district court on behalf of the plaintiff. The caption
of the complaint included the notation: “Attorney Lien Claimed.” Capron acted as
the lead attorney at trial, and, on February 18, 2005, the jury rendered a $1.5 million
verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
On June 30, 2005, Capron resigned from Holden & Carr and started a new
The court does not find the later Seventh Circuit opinion of Elusta v. City of Chicago,
696 F.3d 690 (7th Cir. 2012), also cited by the movants, to be persuasive on this issue, as it dealt
with a party “seek[ing] to compel two of his former attorneys . . . to turn over some of the fee
award to him.” Id. at 692.
firm. On July 11, the plaintiff requested his file be transferred from Holden & Carr
to Capron’s new firm. At the time of the request, the plaintiff had recovered no
money from the defendants and post-trial proceedings were still pending. Capron was
the plaintiff’s attorney through post-trial proceedings, during settlement discussions,
and throughout the appeal of the case. On February 13, 2006, final judgment was
Capron and the firm of Holden and Carr disputed the amount of fees which
should go to each. The court wrote:
On July 3, 2006, Holden & Carr filed an application for hearing on
enforcement of its attorney's lien. Before the court ruled on the
application, the plaintiff filed a motion to dissolve the claimed attorney's
lien. On September 25, 2006, Holden & Carr moved for summary
judgment seeking enforcement of its lien. Capron & Edwards filed a
cross-motion for summary judgment.
The district court granted Holden & Carr’s motion and denied
Capron & Edwards’s cross-motion.
Id. at 566-67. Distinguishing Cooper, the court held:
The fee dispute here forms part of the same case or controversy as the
plaintiff’s personal injury litigation because it involves the two firms
that represented the plaintiff in that action and involves an attorney’s
lien claimed in that action. Moreover, and unlike in Cooper, the plaintiff
is a party to the contract at issue (the Fee Agreement) and our
interpretation of that contract could impact the plaintiff, even though he
has disavowed any interest in the funds.
Id. at 571 (emphasis added).
After careful consideration of these opinions, the court is convinced that this
attorneys’ fee dispute is not part of the same case or controversy so as to give the
court supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). The court’s decision here
does not relate to the distribution of settlement funds from the court’s registry, as was
the case in Grimes. Similarly, it is not like the Baer case, where the dispute itself was
set out in the very settlement agreement which the court approved. Finally, the case
is unlike Edwards, where the plaintiff was a party to the contract at issue, there was
a lien which had to be resolved, and the court’s decision could impact the plaintiff’s
The case more closely resembles the Taylor case, in which the Fourth Circuit
found no jurisdiction. As in Taylor, the controversy here arose purely from a private
contract dispute between attorneys who were not parties in the prior federal case. In
this case, as in Taylor, the fee dispute does not arise as a matter of necessity from
anything which occurred in the federal case. Further, this court has control over the
fee award only in the sense that it has already approved its reasonableness as a whole.
There are no funds at issue in this court’s registry. This court does not have control
over what happens to the fee now that it has been approved. Indeed, no decision by
this court on how that fee should be disbursed would impact the settlement in any
way. The fee will not increase, the class share will not change, and the overall
settlement will not be affected. Thus, supplemental jurisdiction does not exist to
decide this fee dispute.
Further, this decision conforms to the Supreme Court’s discussion of
supplemental jurisdiction in Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Insurance, 511 U.S. 375, 114
S.Ct. 1673, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). In that case, the parties had filed a stipulation
of dismissal signed by all parties, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
41(a)(1)(ii). A month later, one of the parties filed a motion with the district court,
requesting that the court enforce the terms of the settlement agreement. The Supreme
Court noted that the district court’s order dismissing the suit did not incorporate the
terms of the settlement agreement or contain a provision retaining jurisdiction over
the enforcement of the agreement. The Court held that, as a result, no federal
jurisdiction existed over the enforcement of the settlement terms. Kokkonen, 511 U.S.
at 380-81. Although the Court noted that a district court may, in its discretion, set
forth as one of the terms of its order its continuing jurisdiction over the settlement
agreement, the district court had not set out such a term in its order. Under those
facts, the Court held that the district court did not have ancillary jurisdiction to
enforce the settlement agreement. Id.
The Court discussed its prior holdings relating to the scope of a court’s
ancillary jurisdiction as follows.
Generally speaking, we have asserted ancillary jurisdiction (in the very
broad sense in which that term is sometimes used) for two separate,
though sometimes related, purposes: (1) to permit disposition by a single
court of claims that are, in varying respects and degrees, factually
interdependent; and (2) to enable a court to function successfully, that
is, to manage its proceedings, vindicate its authority, and effectuate its
Id. at 379-380 (internal citations omitted). As the Court did in Kokkonen, this court
determines that neither “purpose” is presented by the current dispute.
As to the first purpose, the facts underlying the plaintiffs’ Fair Labor Standards
Acts claims and those underlying respondents’ claim for a portion of plaintiffs’
counsel’s fee award have nothing to do with each other. As to the second purpose,
relating to the court’s power to protect its proceedings and vindicate its authority,
“the power asked for here is quite remote from what courts require in order to perform
their functions.” Id. at 380. “The situation would be quite different if the [movants’
and respondents’ dispute] had been made part of the order [approving the settlement
agreement].... In that event, ancillary jurisdiction to [decide the dispute] would exist.”
Id. That, however, was not the case here. The undersigned was not even aware of the
dispute at the time it entered its order approving the settlement and entering final
The short of the matter is this: The instant dispute involves a claim between
non-diverse law firms who were not parties in the earlier federal suit. That claim is
a state law claim for breach of an alleged fee agreement between those law firms. No
attorney lien has been asserted. There is not even a claim (as there was in Kokkonen)
that part of the consideration for that alleged agreement was dismissal of the earlier
federal suit. Even if there were such a claim,
[n]o federal statute makes that connection (if it constitutionally could)
the basis for federal-court jurisdiction over the contract dispute. The
facts to be determined with regard to such alleged breaches of contract
are quite separate from the facts to be determined in the principal suit,
and automatic jurisdiction over such contracts is in no way essential to
the conduct of federal-court business.
Nor did this court retain jurisdiction to decide the instant dispute. “Absent
such action,” determination of the dispute “is for state courts, unless there is some
independent basis for federal jurisdiction.” Id. at 382. For the reasons previously set
forth, there is no such independent basis present here.
Alternatively, the Court Declines To Exercise Supplemental
Even if the court were to determine that supplemental jurisdiction exists, 28
U.S.C. § 1367(c) provides that the court may decline to exercise such jurisdiction if
“(1) the claim raises a novel or complex issue of State law, (2) the claim substantially
predominates over the claim or claims over which the district court has original
jurisdiction, (3) the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original
jurisdiction, or (4) in exceptional circumstances, there are other compelling reasons
for declining jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
In this case, the court has not only dismissed all of the claims over which it had
original jurisdiction, that case has closed completely. Further, here there are “other
compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction;” namely, that the dispute between the
lawyers does not involve and cannot effect and party to the prior federal proceeding.
Rather, it is an entirely new breach of contract case, based upon state law.
Based on the foregoing, the court determines that it does not have original, or
supplemental, subject matter jurisdiction over the present dispute. Further, even if
it did have supplemental jurisdiction over this matter, the court would, and does,
decline to exercise it.
As the court lacks and/or declines subject matter jurisdiction, the motions are
DENIED as MOOT.
DONE and ORDERED this 2nd day of August, 2013.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?