Mark Stoyas v. Toshiba Corporation et al

Filing 119

ORDER GRANTING MINISTRY OF ECONOMY, TRADE AND INDUSTRY OF JAPANS MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PARTICIPATE AS AMICUS CURIAE, 111 by Judge Dean D. Pregerson: CONCLUSION: It is ORDERED that the motion of METI for leave to participate as an amicus curiae is GRANTED. The court further orders METI to comply with Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 29 in the filing of the amicus brief. IT IS SO ORDERED. See order for more information. (shb)

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O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 MARK STOYAS and NEW ENGLAND TEAMSTERS & TRUCKING INDUSTRY PENSION FUND, Plaintiffs, and AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES PENSION TRUST FUND, individual and on behalf of all others similarly situated, 18 Lead Plaintiff 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 v. TOSHIBA CORPORATION, a Japanese Corporation Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 15-cv-4194 DDP (JCx) ORDER GRANTING MINISTRY OF ECONOMY, TRADE AND INDUSTRY OF JAPAN’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PARTICIPATE AS AMICUS CURIAE [Dkt. 111] Presently before the court is the motion of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and 27 Industry of Japan (“METI”) for leave to participate as an amicus curiae. (Dkt. 111, Mot.) 28 Having considered the submissions of the parties and heard oral argument, the court 1 2 3 4 5 grants the motion and adopts the following order. I. DISCUSSION The background of this case is set forth in the court’s prior orders and is not repeated here. (See dkts. 65, 88.) METI, a ministry of the government of Japan, moves to participate as amicus curiae asserting that it will “offer perspective and information 6 concerning the potential legal and economic repercussions of class certification on 7 Japanese capital markets, issuers, industries, and the country’s economy, as well the 8 implications . . . on Japanese securities laws and international comity.” (Mot. at 2.) 9 Plaintiffs Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund and New England Teamsters & 10 Trucking Industry Pension Fund (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) oppose the motion arguing 11 that METI’s amicus brief does not provide any useful information relevant to the class 12 certification issues and that instead, METI attempts to relitigate issues of forum non 13 conveniens and international comity. (Dkt. 112, Opp.) Plaintiffs also argue that METI has 14 failed to adhere to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 29. (Id.) 15 A “district court has broad discretion to appoint amici curiae.” Hoptowit v. Ray, 16 682 F.2d 1237, 1260 (9th Cir. 1982), overruled on other grounds by Sandin v. Conner, 515 17 U.S. 472 (1995). Courts generally grant requests to participate as amicus curiae where the 18 requesting party “has an interest in some other case that may be affected by the decision 19 in the present case, or when the amicus has unique information or perspective that can 20 help the court beyond the help that the lawyers for the parties are able to provide.” Cmty. 21 Ass’n for Restoration of Env’t (CARE) v. DeRuyter Bros. Dairy, 54 F. Supp. 2d 974, 975 (E.D. 22 Wash. 1999). “The touchstone is whether the amicus is helpful, and there is no 23 requirement that amici must be totally disinterested.” Earth Island Inst. v. Nash, No. 24 119CV01420DADSAB, 2019 WL 6790682, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 12, 2019) (citations 25 omitted). 26 27 28 This action involves claims under the Japanese Financial Instruments and Exchange Act against a Japanese entity and METI, as the ministry of Japan whose 2 1 2 3 4 5 mission is to “promot[] the economic vitality in private companies and smoothly advanc[e] external economic relationships,” may provide some perspective on the issues before the court. Even if some of the information METI seeks to provide is related to international comity, Plaintiffs fail to explain how such information is irrelevant. International comity may be relevant to a variety of issues and is not limited to issues of 6 forum non conveniens. In any event, any argument outside the scope of the pending issues 7 will be disregarded. In re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Antitrust Litig., No. M 8 02-1486 PJH, 2007 WL 2022026, at *1 (N.D. Cal. July 9, 2007) (“[a]n amicus may not 9 assume the functions of a party, nor may it initiate, create, extend, or enlarge the 10 issues.”). Moreover, it is “‘preferable to err on the side of’ permitting such [amicus] 11 briefs . . . ‘[i]f an amicus brief that turns out to be unhelpful is filed, the [Court] . . . can 12 then simply disregard the brief. On the other hand, if a good brief is rejected, the [Court] 13 will be deprived of a resource that might have been of assistance.’” Duronslet v. Cty. of Los 14 Angeles, No. 216CV08933ODWPLAX, 2017 WL 5643144, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 23, 2017) 15 (quoting Neonatology Assocs., P.A. v. C.I.R., 293 F.3d 128, 133 (3d Cir. 2002)). The court 16 concludes that permitting METI to participate as amici curiae is appropriate. Next, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not address requests to participate 17 18 as amici, therefore, district courts “rely on Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 29 (‘Rule 19 29’)” when considering such requests. United States v. State Water Res. Control Bd., No. 20 219CV000547DADEPG, 2020 WL 9144006, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 23, 2020). Here, METI did 21 not comply with Rule 29’s requirements on content and form. However, METI asserts 22 that it is prepared to comply with Rule 29 in filing its amicus brief and any additional 23 disclosures the court deems necessary. The court concludes that in its filing of the 24 amicus brief, METI shall comply with Rule 29’s requirements. 1 25 26 27 28 Plaintiffs argue that METI is not a proper amicus because of METI’s alleged interference in a recent shareholder vote at Toshiba. (Opp. at 6.) According to Plaintiffs, METI is “too 3 1 1 2 3 4 II. CONCLUSION It is ORDERED that the motion of METI for leave to participate as an amicus curiae is GRANTED. The court further orders METI to comply with Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 29 in the filing of the amicus brief. 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 Dated: June 7, 2021 8 9 10 11 12 ___________________________________ DEAN D. PREGERSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 enmeshed with Toshiba to independently provide guidance” regarding the issues at class certification. (Id. at 8.) The court declines to consider the newspaper articles as evidence of an alleged conflict and concludes that compliance with Rule 29 is sufficient at this stage to permit METI’s amicus brief. 4

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