Weeks v. Union Pacific Railroad Company
ORDER ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION, signed by District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 3/9/2018. (Kusamura, W)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CASE NO. 1:13-CV-1641 AWI JLT
ORDER ON MOTION FOR
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.,
(Doc. No. 185)
On March 8, 2018, the Court denied a motion by Weeks’s counsel Kay Parker for an order
appointing a receiver or for an order requiring deposit of funds. See Doc. No. 184. Parker
requested that the Court issue an order that Union Pacific pay funds that are designated by a
settlement agreement as attorneys’ fees into the Court’s registry so that a dispute over fees
between Weeks’s current and former counsel can be resolved by the Court. See id. The Court
denied the motion because: (1) the motion was unsupported by citation to any authority; (2) Mr.
Mullanax, who apparently would receive the funds, had requested Court involvement and
recognized the various claims made by former attorneys to the funds; (3) there was no indication
that any funds would be imminently distributed; (4) an assertion that multiple lawsuits would be
faced by the parties was not explained; and (5) as explained in a previous order, the Court was
disinclined to exercise ancillary jurisdiction over this one-sided fee dispute.
Also on March 8, 2018, Parker filed a motion for reconsideration of the order denying a
receiver/deposit. See Doc. No. 186. Parker declares that Union Pacific’s senior counsel, Kathy
Hughes, informed her that a Settlement and Release Agreement is out for execution by the parties,
Mr. Mullanax has the Agreement, and it is anticipated that a final resolution will be reported
shortly. See id. Parker states that Hughes believes that the attorneys’ fees should be deposited
with the Court because that course “makes sense” under the circumstances.1 See id.
The Court gave five reasons why it was denying the request for receiver/deposit. At best,
the motion for reconsideration addresses one reason. However, simply because a draft agreement
is out for signature does not mean that a payment of attorneys’ fees will immediately occur.
Moreover, even if payment of funds was imminent and near, the other reasons stated in the
Court’s order remain valid, and the motion for reconsideration does not address those other
reasons.2 In particular, the failure to address the Court’s disinclination to exercise ancillary
jurisdiction over this vexatious one-sided fee dispute is not addressed, and that is a significant
consideration. Cf. Moore v. Telfon Communications Corp., 589 F.2d 959, 967 (9th Cir. 1978).
Therefore, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration is
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: March 9, 2018
SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
It is not clear what is meant by the “circumstances” of this case. While there is a dispute between Weeks’s counsel
as to fees, the full extent of that dispute and the nature of any negotiations between counsel is unknown. Further, the
Court notes that there is no explanation of what Mr. Mullanax would do or has threatened to do with the funds, rather
there is and only has ever been a vague and unarticulated fear that Mr. Mullanax would do something improper,
illegal, or unethical. Furthermore, even if Mr. Mullanax received the attorneys’ fees funds, it is unclear how that
would extinguish or impair the enforceability of any valid liens or other claims by any counsel that may exist.
The Court again notes an absence of authority cited in the motion for reconsideration.
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?