Shwartz v. Khodr
ORDER AND REASONS denying 53 Motion to Stay. Signed by Judge Jane Triche Milazzo. (ecm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is Plaintiff Michael Schwartz’s Motion to Stay (Doc.
53). For the following reasons, this Motion is DENIED.
In this action, Plaintiff Michael Schwartz brings claims of fraud, unjust
misrepresentation against Hicham Khodr arising out of contracts associated
with the transfer and licensure of property associated with the Camellia Grill
restaurant in New Orleans. This suit was filed on June 8, 2016 in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
responded with a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(2), a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Proper Venue or, alternatively,
Motion to Transfer Venue pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3), a Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), and a Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions. The Mississippi
Court denied Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for lack of Personal Jurisdiction
and Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Proper Venue, but granted his Motion to
Transfer Venue to this Court. The Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Sanctions
Plaintiff now seeks a stay of this matter, citing the fact that his
Mississippi counsel of record, Stephan McDavid, will be unable to enroll pro
hac vice in this matter due to disciplinary proceedings pending against him in
Mississippi. He requests time to retain new counsel to represent his interests
with regard to the pending 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss and the Motion for Rule
The Federal Courts have a “virtually unflagging obligation . . . to exercise
the jurisdiction given them.”2 Nevertheless, “A district court certainly
possesses the authority to regulate its flow of cases.”3 “Although the Court has
the inherent power to stay any matter pending before it in the interest of
justice and economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel and for litigants,
the moving party bears a heavy burden to show why a stay should be granted.”4
Attorney Irl Silberstein has enrolled for the limited purpose of filing the instant
Motion to Stay.
2 Black Sea Inv., Ltd. v. United Heritage Corp., 204 F.3d 647, 650 (5th Cir. 2000)
3 Coastal (Bermuda) Ltd. v. E.W. Saybolt & Co., 761 F.2d 198, 204 (5th Cir. 1985).
4St. Bernard Citizens for Envtl. Quality, Inc. v. Chalmette Ref., L.L.C., 348 F. Supp.
2d 765, 767 (E.D. La. 2004).
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Plaintiff seeks a 120 day stay of the instant case, arguing that he
requires time to retain new counsel.
Defendant responds in opposition,
arguing that such a lengthy stay is inappropriate.5 The Court has reviewed
the record and finds that no stay is warranted at this time. Defendant’s Motion
to Dismiss and Motion for Sanctions are fully briefed before the Court and
ready for disposition. Oral argument on these Motions is unnecessary at this
The Court sees no reason to postpone ruling on these Motions,
particularly considering that Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is potentially
dispositive of this matter. Furthermore, as Defendant correctly indicates, this
matter was transferred to this Court more than 2 months ago on January 25,
2017, giving Plaintiff ample time to retain local counsel. Accordingly, the
Motion to Stay is denied.
For the forgoing reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay is DENIED.
New Orleans, Louisiana this 28th day of March, 2017.
JANE TRICHE MILAZZO
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Defendant states that he consents to a 30 day stay of the proceedings. The Court
finds, however, that any stay of these proceedings is unwarranted.
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