Baranco v. Ford Motor Company et al

Filing 39

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen Denying 24 Plaintiffs' Motion to Appoint Interim Co-Lead Counsel. (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/25/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 DAVID BARANCO, et al., Plaintiffs, 8 9 10 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO APPOINT INTERIM CO-LEAD COUNSEL v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, et al., Docket No. 24 Defendants. 12 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 11 Case No. 17-cv-03580-EMC 13 Plaintiffs have filed an unopposed motion for appointment of McCune Wright Avervalo, 14 LLP & Blood Hurst & O’Reardon LLP as interim class co-counsel, pending class certification. 15 The federal rules permit the court to make such interim designations. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g)(3). 16 Interim appointments are permitted “if necessary to protect the interests of the putative class.” 17 Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g)(2)(A) advisory committee notes on 2003 amends. That may include, for 18 example, cases “in which overlapping, duplicative, or competing class suits are pending before a 19 court[.]” Wang v. OCZ Tech. Grp., Inc., Case No. C 11-01415 PSG, 2011 WL 13156817, at *2 20 (N.D. Cal. Jun. 29, 2011) (citation and quotation omitted). Interim appointments are otherwise 21 viewed as “premature before other counsel file cases on behalf of other clients.” Id. (citation and 22 quotation omitted); see also Kristin Haley v. Macy’s Inc., Case No. 15-cv-06033-HSG, 2016 WL 23 4676617, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Sep. 7, 2016) (appointment of interim counsel unnecessary where 24 “[t]here is no rivalry between . . . firms” or any competing cases). 25 Plaintiffs have submitted evidence of their qualifications, their experience leading other 26 complex litigation, their work preparing the instant litigation, and their willingness to devote 27 resources to the litigation. However, they have provided no explanation why an interim 28 appointment is necessary to protect the interests of the putative class, such as competition in 1 pursuing the putative class’s claims or competing cases. Although Plaintiffs state that there was 2 originally another case in the Eastern District of Michigan (filed in April 2017), they explain that 3 the attorneys in both cases met and conferred and agreed to consolidate their claims in the instant 4 litigation and to co-counsel the consolidated case. See Docket No. 18 (First Amended Complaint). 5 As of this time, there do not appear to be any other competing cases or firms vying to represent the 6 class. Moreover, Plaintiffs did not identify any related cases when they filed this litigation, see 7 Docket No. 1-3 (Civil Cover Sheet), and have not notified the court of any related cases since 8 then. It is therefore not clear why an interim appointment of class counsel is needed to protect the 9 class’s interests at this time. Cf. Wang, supra; Haley, supra. 10 For that reason Plaintiffs’ request is DENIED without prejudice to filing another request if additional information later comes to light and without prejudice for moving for appointment of 12 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 11 class counsel concurrent with a motion for class certification. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), 13 the Court determines that the matter is appropriate for resolution without oral argument, and 14 VACATES the hearing. 15 16 This order disposes of Docket No. 24. 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 21 22 Dated: October 25, 2017 ______________________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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