Drum Lodge, LLC v. Martel Construction, Inc.

Filing 34

ORDER signed by Senior District Judge William B. Shubb on 6/4/2024 re 27 Defendant's Motion for Attorney Fees: IT IS ORDERED that Martel's motion for award of attorneys' fees 27 be, and the same hereby is, DENIED without prejudice to renewal upon the final resolution of Drum Lodge's currently pending appeal 23 , 24 . (Kirksey Smith, K)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 ----oo0oo---- 11 12 DRUM LODGE, LLC, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 16 No. 2:24-cv-00219 WBS JDP v. ORDER RE: MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEYS’ FEES MARTEL CONSTRUCTION, INC., Defendant. 17 ----oo0oo---- 18 19 On April 4, 2024, the court dismissed with prejudice 20 plaintiff Drum Lodge, LLC’s petition to vacate an arbitration 21 award in defendant Martel Construction, Inc.’s favor. 22 (Docket No. 20).) 23 notice of appeal, which appeal is currently pending. 24 Nos. 23, 24.) 25 incurred to successfully defend against Drum Lodge’s failed 26 petition to vacate. This closed the case. (Order Drum Lodge then filed a (Docket Now, Martel moves for its attorneys’ fees (Mot. (Docket No. 27-1).) 27 Courts have discretion to defer ruling on a motion for 28 attorney’s fees or to deny the motion without prejudice while an 1 1 appeal is pending. 2 note to 1993 amendment (“If an appeal on the merits of the case 3 is taken, the court may rule on the claim for fees, may defer its 4 ruling on the motion, or may deny the motion without prejudice, 5 directing under subdivision (d)(2)(B) a new period for filing 6 after the appeal has been resolved.”); see also People for 7 Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Los Angeles Cnty. Metro. 8 Transit Auth., No. 221CV07662SSSMAAX, 2023 WL 6369702, at *2 9 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2023); Planet Aid, Inc. v. Reveal, Ctr. for Fed R. Civ. P. 54(d)(2) advisory committee’s 10 Investigative Reporting, No. 17-CV-03695-MMC, 2021 WL 4051420, at 11 *2 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 27, 2021); Stillwater Ltd. v. Basilotta, No. 12 2:16-CV-1895-SK, 2021 WL 7285989, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 12, 13 2021); Freeman Inv. Mgmt. Co., LLC v. Frank Russell Co., No. 13- 14 CV-2856 JLS (RBB), 2017 WL 11420268, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 9, 15 2017). 16 “[I]f the claim for fees involves substantial issues or 17 is likely to be affected by the appellate decision, the district 18 court may prefer to defer consideration of the claim for fees 19 until after the appeal is resolved.” 20 committee’s note to 1993 amendment; see also G.P.P., Inc. v. 21 Guardian Prot. Prod., Inc., No. 1:15-CV-00321 SKO, 2018 WL 932087 22 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 16, 2018) (citing same re: exercise of such 23 discretion). 24 Fed. R. Civ. P. 58 advisory Such is the case here: Drum Lodge’s pending appeal is 25 centrally related to the propriety of awarding attorneys’ fees in 26 relation to Drum Lodge’s petition to vacate the arbitration 27 award. 28 granted Martel’s motion to dismiss Drum Lodge’s petition, thereby The order from which the pending appeal has been taken 2 1 deeming Martel the prevailing party. 2 court also reviewed and subsequently left undisturbed the 3 arbitration panel’s award of attorneys’ fees to Martel under the 4 “manifest disregard for the law” standard. 5 determinations are central to Martel’s instant motion for fees, 6 such that if either determination were to be reversed on appeal, 7 Martel’s current motion would likely be rendered moot. 8 addition, regardless of whichever party prevails on appeal, 9 additional fee motions are likely to follow. (See generally Order.) (Id.) The Both In 10 Accordingly, in the interest of judicial efficiency and 11 pursuant to its discretion to do so, the court concludes that any 12 motion for attorneys’ fees is best adjudicated on the merits 13 following a final resolution of Drum Lodge’s appeal.1 14 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Martel’s motion for award 15 of attorneys’ fees (Docket No. 27) be, and the same hereby is, 16 DENIED without prejudice to renewal upon the final resolution of 17 /// 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 See, e.g., Dufour v. Allen, No. 2:14–cv–5616 CAS (SSx), 2015 WL 12819170, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 26, 2015) (finding, after “distributing a lengthy tentative order” and hearing oral argument, that “the best course of action is to defer ruling on the [motions for attorney’s fees] until the resolution of [the plaintiff’s] appeal”); Harrell v. George, No. 2:11–cv–00253–MCE DAD PS, 2012 WL 5906659, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 26, 2012) (deferring attorney’s fees motion by defendant who prevailed on successful motion to strike pending appeal before the Ninth Circuit); Sovereign Gen. Ins. Servs., Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., No. 2:05–cv–00389 MCE DAD, 2008 WL 5381813, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 23, 2008) (denying motion for attorney’s fees without prejudice to renewal following disposition of the matter on appeal); Flores v. Emerich & Fike, No. 1:05–CV–0291 OWW DLB, 2007 WL 963282, at *7 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 29, 2007) (same); Lasic v. Moreno, No. 2:05–cv–0161 MCE DAD, 2007 WL 4180655, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 21, 2007) (same re: bill of costs). 1 28 3 1 Drum Lodge’s currently pending appeal (Docket Nos. 23, 24). 2 3 4 Dated: June 4, 2024 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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