Patrick LaCross et al v. Knight Transportation Incorporated et al

Filing 155

ORDER: denying Plaintiffs' Motion 151 to Certify This Court's September 22, 2016, and October 18, 2016, Orders Granting Knight's Motion to Compel Arbitration for Interlocutory Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). Signed by Judge John J Tuchi on 1/26/17.(REW)

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1 WO NOT FOR PUBLICATION 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Patrick LaCross, et al., Plaintiffs, 10 11 ORDER v. 12 No. CV-15-00990-PHX-JJT Knight Transportation Incorporated, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 At issue is Plaintiffs’ Motion to Certify This Court’s September 22, 2016 16 (Doc. 148) and October 18, 2016 (Doc. 150) Orders Granting Knight’s Motion to Compel 17 Arbitration for Interlocutory Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). (Doc. 151, Mot.) 18 Defendants filed a Response in opposition (Doc. 152, Resp.), and Plaintiffs filed a Reply 19 (Doc. 153, Reply). 20 Under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), if a district judge in making an order is “of the opinion 21 that such order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial 22 ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may 23 materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation, he shall so state in writing 24 such an order.” Here, the Court included no such statement in either of the Orders 25 Plaintiffs challenge (Docs. 148, 150). Plaintiffs now move for the Court to make such a 26 statement pertaining to those Orders as a step toward giving the Ninth Circuit Court of 27 Appeals jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ appeal of those Orders. (Mot. at 1-2.) 28 1 Whether or not the Court’s Orders (Docs. 148, 150) involve “a controlling 2 question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion”—the 3 Court would find that they do not—the Court cannot conclude that an immediate appeal 4 from its Orders will “materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation” under 5 § 1292(b). In the appeal scenario, if the Court of Appeals affirms the Court’s Orders, the 6 parties will be left in the same position as they were prior to the appeal and the arbitral 7 process will have suffered a significant delay. If the Court of Appeals reverses this 8 Court’s Orders, the litigation will continue in this Court in a manner consistent with the 9 Court of Appeals’ decision. In either instance, the time for the Court of Appeals to 10 resolve Plaintiffs’ appeal—which is likely to be substantial—will have passed, and 11 Plaintiffs will be no closer to the ultimate resolution of their claims in this lawsuit. As 12 Defendants point out, “In the two years it could take Plaintiffs to appeal the decision, 13 they could more quickly arbitrate their claims to a final judgment.” (Resp. at 11.) Of 14 course, the Court recognizes that if the Court of Appeals were to reverse its Orders in an 15 interlocutory appeal, the parties would avoid litigating Plaintiffs’ claims in arbitration. 16 See Kuehner v. Dickinson & Co., 84 F.3d 316, 319 (9th Cir. 1996) (in the context of 17 addressing whether a district court’s order involves a controlling question of law under 18 § 1292(b), finding that the order may do so “if it could cause the needless expense and 19 delay of litigating an entire case in a forum that has no power to decide the matter”). But, 20 in this case, the Court cannot find that an immediate appeal of its Orders is sufficiently 21 likely to materially advance the ultimate termination of this litigation, such that this 22 Court’s certification of the appeal is appropriate under § 1292(b). 23 The Court notes that Plaintiffs filed this case on March 3, 2014 (Doc. 1-3 at 5-39), 24 nearly three years ago, and Plaintiffs’ present characterization of the case as “in its 25 infancy” thus appears disingenuous, particularly after arguing to the Court that they have 26 been prejudiced by the amount of time and resources spent litigating this case to date. 27 (See Doc. 115 at 20.) Disingenuous too is Plaintiffs’ argument that their proposed appeal 28 will materially advance the litigation by bringing them closer to settlement with -2- 1 Defendants. Nothing precludes Plaintiffs from negotiating a settlement with Defendants 2 now. 3 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED denying Plaintiffs’ Motion to Certify This 4 Court’s September 22, 2016 and October 18, 2016 Orders Granting Knight’s Motion to 5 Compel Arbitration for Interlocutory Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (Doc. 151). 6 Dated this 26th day of January, 2017. 7 8 9 Honorable John J. Tuchi United States District Judge 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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