In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether ("MTBE") Products Liability Litigation
ORDER: Here, the Commonwealth has offered no basis to conclude that the additional briefing it requests more than a month after the full submission of the matters in question would be anything more than the opening shot in an "endless volley of briefs." For this reason, and for the reasons stated above, the Commonwealth's request for additional briefing is denied. (Signed by Judge Shira A. Scheindlin on 6/26/2013) Filed In Associated Cases: 1:00-cv-01898-SAS-DCF, 1:07-cv-10470-SAS(ft)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YOR~_--.
In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether
("MTBE") Products Liability Litigation
This document relates to:
Master File No. 1:00-1898
MDL 1358 (SAS)
Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico v. Shell Oil Co.
et al., 07 Civ. 10470
SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, U.S.D.J.:
On June 24,2013, counsel for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
submitted a letter to my Chambers requesting that the Commonwealth be granted
leave to file "short surreplies to the replies of defendants Trammo Caribbean,
Trammo Petroleum, Total Outre Mer, S.A., and Total, S.A [(collectively, the
"Moving Defendants")] on their 12(b) motions to dismiss for personal
jurisdiction."l The Commonwealth claims that the Moving Defendants improperly
submitted new evidence in their replies, and requests an opportunity to respond. 2
What is lacking from the Commonwealth's letter is any specificity as
to what purportedly new evidence the Moving Defendants submitted, and why it is
so prejudicial as to justify allowing additional briefing. By failing to provide these
essential details, the Commonwealth's letter burdens the Court with digging
5/24/13 Commonwealth Letter to Chambers at 1.
through the parties' submissions in an attempt to divine the basis for its objection.
In light of the fact that the Commonwealth's request comes more than a month
after the Moving Defendants' reply papers were fully submitted, and without
excuse for its tardiness, this failure of specificity is inexcusable.
Moreover, even had the Commonwealth's request been timely made,
there is no basis to grant it on the merits. The Commonwealth previously filed
documents, styled as 'Objections,' which offered supplemental briefing on the
same allegedly untimely submissions of the Moving Defendants that motivate the
Commonwealth's request for additional briefing. As I explained in the June 14,
2013 Order striking these 'Objections': H[t]he question of whether the Moving
Defendants have presented materials that cannot support their pending motions
under the Federal Rules of Evidence was fully submitted to the Court upon the
filing of their reply briefs."3 In other words, the Court is capable of considering
the evidence and arguments submitted by the parties without indulging in endless
rounds of briefing.
The finality inherent in a briefing schedule protects not only the
interest of parties in a speedy resolution of their disputes, but also the interest of
the public in the efficiency of courts. In keeping with this policy:
[T]he decision to pennit a litigant to submit a surreply is a
matter left to the Court's discretion .... [N]either the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure nor the Local Civil Rules of this court
6/14/13 Order, Doc. No. 292, at 2.
authorize litigants to file surreplies. Allowing parties to submit
surreplies is not a regular practice that courts follow, because
such a procedure has the potential for placing a court in the
position of refereeing an endless volley ofbriefs. 4
Here, the Commonwealth has offered no basis to conclude that the
additional briefing it requests
matters in question
more than a month after the full submission of the
would be anything more than the opening shot in an
"endless volley of briefs." For this reason, and for the reasons stated above, the
Commonwealth's request for additional briefing is denied.
New York, New York
June 26, 2013
Kapiti v. Kelly, No. 07 Civ. 3782,2008 WL 754686, at * 1 n.1
(S.D.N.Y. Mar. 12,2008).
Liaison Counsel for Plaintiffs:
Robin Greenwald, Esq.
Robert Gordon, Esq.
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.
180 Maiden Lane
New York, New York 10038
Tel: (212) 558-5500
Fax: (212) 344-5461
Liaison Counsel for Defendants:
Peter John Sacripanti, Esq.
James A. Pardo, Esq.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
50 Rockefeller Plaza, 11 th Floor
New York, New York 10020
Tel: (212) 547-5583
Fax: (212) 547-5444
Counsel for the Commonwealth:
Michael Axline, Esq.
Miller, Axline, & Sawyer
1050 Fulton A venue, Suite 10
Sacramento, CA 95825
Tel: (916) 488-6688
Fax: (916) 488-4288
Counsel for Total S.A.:
Elliot E. Polebaum, Esq.
Eugene N. Hansen, Esq. (pro hac vice forthcoming)
Friend, Frank, Harris, Shriver, & Jacobsen LLP
801 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 639-7000
Fax: (202) 639-7003
Counsel for Trammo Petroleum, Inc. and Trammo Caribbean, Inc.
Mark S. Katz, Esq.
Mound Cotton W ollan & Greengrass
One Battery Park Plaza
New York, NY 10004
Tel: (212) 804-4200
Fax: (212) 344-8066
Counsel for Total Outre-Mer, S.A.
Elaine M. Maldonado-Matias, Esq.
Sepulvado & Maldonado, PSC
Citibank Tower, Suite 1900
252 Ponce de Leon Ave.
San Juan, P.R. 00918
Tel: (787) 765-5656
Fax: (787) 294-0073
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