The Facebook, Inc. v. Connectu, Inc et al

Filing 747

ORDER OVERRULING CONNECTUS OBJECTION TO CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE JAMES DECEMBER 30, 2009 ORDER AS PREMATURE re 742 Objection, filed by ConnectU LLC. Signed by Judge James Ware on January 14, 2010. (jwlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/14/2010)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The Facebook, Inc., et al., v. Plaintiffs, IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION NO. C 07-01389 JW ORDER OVERRULING CONNECTU'S OBJECTION TO CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE JAMES' DECEMBER 30, 2009 ORDER AS PREMATURE / United United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ConnectU, Inc, et al., Defendants. Presently before the Court is ConnectU's Objection to Chief Magistrate Judge James' Order denying ConnectU's Request for Hearing Date and Briefing Schedule. (Docket Item No. 742.) The Court treats the objection as a motion for relief from a nondispositive order of a Magistrate Judge made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 and Civ. L.R. 72-2. Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have joined in the Motion. (Docket Item No. 746.) A district court may modify or set aside a magistrate judge's ruling on a non-dispositive matter if the order is "clearly erroneous" or "contrary to law." 28 U.S.C.636(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a); Bahn v. NME Hospitals, Inc., 929 F.2d 1404, 1414 (9th Cir. 1991). Upon review, the Court finds that Chief Magistrate Judge James' Order is neither erroneous nor contrary to law. Moreover, the Court finds that ConnectU's motion is premature. In the December 30, 2009 Order, Judge James denied ConnectU's request "without prejudice" and specifically stated that "should ConnectU be able to establish that no appeals are pending in this case before the Ninth Circuit, the Court shall issue an order as to how the parties should proceed." 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (Docket Item No. 736.) Thus, Judge James invited ConnectU to refile its motion with an appropriate showing that the district court had jurisdiction to proceed with a review of files to be turned over. The Court recognizes that Judge James' Order might be broadly interpreted to require a showing that "no appeals are pending" before the Ninth Circuit, even if the appeal would not affect the jurisdiction of the district court to enforce its Order that client files be reviewed and turned over to successor counsel. There are multiple appeals pending in this case. However, an appeal does not divest the district court of jurisdiction to hear ancillary matters unaffected by the appeal. The motion for disqualification of counsel and for turnover of client files is an ancillary matter that the Ninth Circuit referred back to the district court for disposition. Of course, appellate relief might be available with respect to the district court's disposition of these ancillary matters. Unless or until appellate relief is sought, the district court retains jurisdiction to enforce its disposition. Chief Magistrate Judge James' Order allows ConnectU to refile its motion with a proper showing. If ConnectU determines to re-file a motion with the Magistrate Judge for further proceedings with respect to the turnover of client files, it would satisfy its requirement for showing that the Magistrate Judge has jurisdiction by showing that there are no appeals pending from the September 2, 2009 Order disqualifying counsel or from that portion of the September 2, 2009 Order directing a limited handover of its client files ("documents necessary for new ConnectU to carry on ConnectU's business operations") from its former counsel to its present counsel. Accordingly, the Order of Chief Magistrate Judge James is affirmed. The objection is overruled as premature, without prejudice to a renewed motion that is consistent with this Order. United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dated: January 14, 2010 JAMES WARE United States District Judge 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT COPIES OF THIS ORDER HAVE BEEN DELIVERED TO: Alison Paige Buchanan apb@hogefenton.com Bruce Eric Van Dalsem brucevandalsem@quinnemanuel.com Chester Wren-Ming Day cday@orrick.com D. Michael Underhill Munderhill@BSFLLP.com David A. Barrett dbarrett@bsfllp.com Evan A. Parke eparke@bsfllp.com George C. Fisher georgecfisher@gmail.com George C. Fisher georgecfisher@gmail.com George Hopkins Guy hopguy@orrick.com I. Neel Chatterjee nchatterjee@orrick.com James Earl Towery jet@hogefenton.com Jerome B. Falk jfalk@howardrice.com John Phillip Duchemin jduchemin@howardrice.com Jonathan M. Shaw jshaw@bsfllp.com Kalama M. Lui-Kwan kml@severson.com Mark A. Weissman mweissman@osheapartners.com Mark A. Weissman mweissman@osheapartners.com Mark Andrew Byrne markbyrne@byrnenixon.com Mark Andrew Byrne markbyrne@byrnenixon.com Monte M.F. Cooper mcooper@orrick.com Rachel E. Matteo-Boehm rachel.matteo-boehm@hro.com Randy Garteiser randy@sftrialattorneys.com Roger Rex Myers roger.myers@hro.com Scott Richard Mosko scott.mosko@finnegan.com Sean Alan Lincoln slincoln@Orrick.com Sean F. O'Shea soshea@osheapartners.com Sean M. SeLegue sselegue@howardrice.com Steven Christopher Holtzman sholtzman@bsfllp.com Theresa Ann Sutton tsutton@orrick.com Tyler Alexander Baker Tbaker@fenwick.com Valerie Margo Wagner vwagner@gcalaw.com Warrington S. Parker wparker@orrick.com Yvonne Penas Greer ygreer@orrick.com United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dated: January 14, 2010 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: /s/ JW Chambers Elizabeth Garcia Courtroom Deputy

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