Beautyko LLC et al v. Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc

Filing 72

ORDER denying Plaintiffs' 71 Second Motion for In Camera Review signed by Judge Ricardo S Martinez. (PM)

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  1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 10 11 BEAUTYKO LLC; LINOI LLC; SHOP FLASH USA INC.; BEAUTYKO USA INC.; AND BENNOTI USA INC., 12 Plaintiffs, 13 15 AMAZON FULFILLMENT SERVICES, INC., 16 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND MOTION FOR IN CAMERA REVIEW v. 14 Case No. 16-355RSM Defendant. 17 18 19 20 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs’ purported “Ex Parte Motion to Submit Documents for In Camera Review.” Dkt. #71. This Motion has been noted for same-day consideration. 21 On August 3, 2017, the Court granted a Motion filed by Plaintiffs’ former attorneys to 22 withdraw as counsel, based in part on documents submitted for in camera review. Dkt. #59. 23 24 25 There was no evidence or argument before the Court that Plaintiffs in any way objected. Plaintiffs now contend that the in camera materials contained privileged attorney-client 26 communications, that these materials were not provided to Plaintiffs before they were filed, that 27 Plaintiffs “did not know the in camera materials had been filed,” and “did not have an 28 opportunity to respond to the in camera materials,” or “to provide the Court with the complete ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND MOTION FOR IN CAMERA REVIEW - 1   1 context of the issues raised by the in camera materials.” Id. at 1–2. Although Plaintiffs now 2 state that they do “not seek to litigate or review the order grating [sic] Yarmuth Wilsdon’s 3 motion to withdraw as counsel,” Plaintiffs are “concerned that the one-sided nature of the 4 materials presented to the Court in the context of the motion by Beautyko’s former counsel to 5 6 7 withdraw as counsel, if not rebutted or corrected, risk impacting the Court’s decisions with respect to Amazon’s current pending motions, including the motion for leave to file another 8 motion for summary judgment” and now seek leave to submit further materials to the court for 9 in camera review. Id. at 2. Plaintiffs cite to the Court’s statement during a brief telephone 10 11 12 hearing on August 30, 2017, that “your client may not be the easiest client to work with at this point” as a basis for this Motion. Id. However, Plaintiffs also state that “the Court’s statement 13 may not have been prompted by the in camera submission by Beautyko’s former counsel but 14 rather by the circumstance of counsel seeking to withdraw as counsel so late in a case…” Id. 15 Plaintiffs request the court “evaluate this issue on an expedited ex parte basis…” Id. at 3. 16 Plaintiffs do not cite the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or this Court’s Local Rules; there are 17 18 no citations to legal authority of any kind. 19 It was procedurally improper for Plaintiffs to seek this relief on an ex parte basis and to 20 note this Motion for consideration on the day it was filed. However, the Court need not grant 21 Defendants an opportunity to respond because the Court can easily deny the requested relief 22 23 24 without further briefing. The prior in camera documents were reviewed for one purpose only: to rule on the 25 Motion to Withdraw before the Court at the time. See Dkt. #59 at 3. They will not be re- 26 examined in the context of any other issue in this case. Plaintiffs have no legal basis to submit 27 additional materials to the Court for in camera review to purportedly aid the Court in 28 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND MOTION FOR IN CAMERA REVIEW - 2   1 determining substantive, potentially dispositive issues in pending or forthcoming motions. Any 2 potential benefit to the Plaintiffs for submitting these materials in camera is easily outweighed 3 by the prejudice to Defendant of allowing a clandestine tête-à-tête between Plaintiffs and the 4 Court on issues that veer into the substantive. 5 6 7 8 Having reviewed the relevant briefing and the remainder of the record, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS that Plaintiffs’ Second Motion for In Camera Review, Dkt. #71, is DENIED. 9 10 DATED this 19 day of September, 2017. 11 12 13 14 15 A RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND MOTION FOR IN CAMERA REVIEW - 3

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