Munson Hardisty, LLC v. Legacy Pointe Apartments, LLC (TV3)
ORDER: the motion 68 is GRANTED to the extent that this action is hereby STAYED pending the Court's resolution of defendant's appeal of Judge Shirley's attorney disqualification order 56 . In addition, defendant 39;s Motion to Dismiss 59 , and plaintiff's Motion for a Status Conference 63 and Motion to Amend 72 are DENIED without prejudice and with leave to renew upon the lifting of the stay. Signed by Chief District Judge Thomas A Varlan on January 23, 2017. (AYB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
MUNSON HARDISTY, LLC,
LEGACY POINTE APARTMENTS, LLC, )
This civil case is before the Court on defendant’s Motion to Stay [Doc. 68], to
which plaintiff responded [Doc. 69], and defendant replied [Doc. 71]. In its motion,
defendant asks that the Court stay this case pending the Court’s resolution of defendant’s
pending Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 59]. In its response, plaintiff argues that while it does
not oppose a stay, it believes that the stay should be pending the Court’s resolution of
defendant’s appeal of Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr.’s attorney disqualification
order, in which Judge Shirley disqualified defendant’s counsel [Doc. 56].
As an initial point, the Court notes that the Sixth Circuit has indicated that “[a]
district court must rule on a motion for disqualification of counsel prior to ruling on a
dispositive motion because the success of a disqualification motion has the potential to
change the proceedings entirely.” See Bowers v. Ophthamology Grp., 733 F.3d 647, 654
(6th Cir. 2013). In this case, defendant asks the Court to rule on a pending motion to
dismiss prior to resolving the appeal of an attorney disqualification order. Although the
Court notes that the motion to dismiss was not submitted by disqualified counsel,
considering the procedural posture of this litigation, the motion was still possibly
prepared “under the auspices of conflicted counsel.” See Grimes v. District of Columbia,
794 F.3d 83, 90 (D.C. Cir. 2015). Thus, the Court agrees with plaintiff that it would be
more appropriate to fully resolve the attorney disqualification issue prior to resolving any
substantive motions in this case, because the Court’s ruling on the disqualification issue
“has the potential to change the proceedings entirely.” See Bowers, 733 F.3d at 654.
In light of this, and for good cause shown, the motion [Doc. 68] is GRANTED to
the extent that this action is hereby STAYED pending the Court’s resolution of
defendant’s appeal of Judge Shirley’s attorney disqualification order [Doc. 56].1 In
addition, defendant’s Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 59], and plaintiff’s Motion for a Status
Conference [Doc. 63] and Motion to Amend [Doc. 72] are DENIED without prejudice
and with leave to renew upon the lifting of the stay
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Thomas A. Varlan
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The Court notes as well that plaintiff’s pending Renewed Motion for Leave to File
Documents Under Seal [Doc. 61] is related to defendant’s appeal of Judge Shirley’s order.
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