Alvarado et al v. Fedex Corporation

Filing 1792


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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 EDWARD ALVARADO, et al., 8 9 Plaintiffs, ORDER DIRECTING CLERK TO DISBURSE INTERPLED FUNDS TO EDWARD ALVARADO AND CHARLOTTE BOSWELL v. 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California No. C 04-0098 SI, No. C 04-0099 SI FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION, 11 Defendant. / 12 13 In an order filed October 12, 2010, the Court interpled $356,492.05, which consisted of plaintiff 14 Edward Alvarado’s jury award plus accrued interest. Docket No. 1617. The Court ordered that 50% 15 of that amount, or $178,246.03, be immediately disbursed to Mr. Alvarado. In an order filed February 16 4, 2011, the Court interpled $656,609.69, which consisted of plaintiff’s Charlotte Boswell’s jury award 17 plus accrued interest. Docket Nos. 1681 & 1692. On March 3, 2011, the Court ordered that 50% of that 18 amount, or $328,304.85, be disbursed immediately to Ms. Boswell. The Court retained the remaining 19 50% of the interpled funds in the Court’s registry pending resolution of the statutory fee petitions filed 20 by Mr. McCoy and Ms. Parker, as well as any claims by Mr. McCoy and Ms. Parker to the interpled 21 funds. 22 On September 30, 2011, the Court issued an order resolving the statutory fee petitions,1 and on 23 October 12, 2011 the Court issued an Order to Show Cause re: Claims to Interpled Funds. Ms. Parker 24 and Mr. McCoy have filed responses to the Order to Show Cause. 25 Ms. Parker asserts that the Court should retain the interpled funds until any appeal of the 26 September 30, 2011 order is resolved in order to preserve her ability to seek her fees in quantum meruit 27 1 28 Ms. Parker has filed a motion to alter that order, and that motion will be addressed in a separate order. 1 from plaintiffs in the event the Ninth Circuit should find that she is not entitled to a statutory fee. The 2 Court finds Ms. Parker’s arguments unpersuasive. Plaintiffs have waited years to receive their damages 3 awards, and the Court is unwilling to further delay plaintiffs’ receipt of their jury awards because of the 4 theoretical possibility that the Ninth Circuit may, after a lengthy appeal, completely eliminate Ms. 5 Parker’s statutory fee award. 6 Mr. McCoy seeks the following amounts out of the interpled funds: (1) $37,678.50 of expert fees 7 paid to Carlene Young, (2) $24,0002 in compensatory sanctions that the Court awarded against Mr. 8 McCoy in connection with the proceedings before the Special Master, and (3) approximately 9 $293,955.13 in attorneys’ fees incurred by Mr. McCoy in connection with litigating Mr. McCoy’s United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 amended statutory fee petition.3 11 The Court finds that Mr. McCoy is not entitled to recover these amounts from the interpled 12 funds. With regard to the expert fees of Carlene Young, neither plaintiff benefitted from Ms. Young’s 13 work as the Court struck her designation as an expert witness because she was not disclosed in a timely 14 and appropriate manner. Ms. Young did not interview Ms. Boswell, and while she interviewed Mr. 15 Alvarado, she did not testify at his trial. Moreover, Mr. McCoy did not make any attempt to apportion 16 Ms. Young’s fees to Ms. Boswell and Mr. Alvarado, as opposed to the seven settlement plaintiffs for 17 whom Mr. McCoy waived his costs. At the hearing Mr. McCoy asserted that the Court denied his 18 request for Ms. Young’s fees in his amended statutory fee petition. However, a review of that amended 19 fee petition and supporting declarations shows that Mr. McCoy did not specifically seek Ms. Young’s 20 expert fees in the amended fee petition. See Docket No. 1731 at ¶ 41 & Ex. D. With regard to the 21 compensatory sanctions, the Court has previously explained why those costs should be paid by Mr. 22 McCoy and not plaintiffs. See Docket No. 1681 at 6:11-8:2. Finally, the Court has already awarded 23 $231,292.75 in statutory fees-on-fees and expenses to Mr. McCoy’s former fees counsel, Mr. Bass. Mr. 24 2 25 Mr. McCoy states that the Court imposed $24,000 in compensatory sanctions. The ultimate amount of compensatory sanctions imposed, however, was $20,225.72. See Docket No. 1681 at 7:8. 26 3 27 28 Mr. McCoy states that the lawyer who litigated his amended fee petition, Mr. Bass, claims that Mr. McCoy owes him a total of $525,247.38 in fees pursuant to a fee agreement between Mr. McCoy and Mr. Bass. The Court’s September 30, 2011 order awarded Mr. Bass $231,292.75 in statutory feeson-fees and expenses. 2 1 McCoy provides no authority to support his contention that plaintiffs should be required to pay 2 additional, non-statutory legal fees that Mr. McCoy incurred and that Mr. Bass claims is owed to him 3 pursuant to a fee agreement between Mr. McCoy and Mr. Bass and to which neither plaintiff was a 4 party. 5 Accordingly, the Court directs the Clerk of the Court to immediately disburse the previously 6 interpled funds ($178,246.03 plus accrued interest for Mr. Alvarado, and $328,304.85 plus accrued 7 interest for Ms. Boswell). The Clerk shall issue two checks payable as follows: (1) Edward Alvarado 8 and his attorney Stephen M. Murphy and (2) Charlotte Boswell and her attorney Stephen M. Murphy. 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 Dated: December 19, 2011 SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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