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15-259 - Royce v. Needle et al


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15-259 - Royce v. Needle et al
June 18, 2015
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MEMORANDUM Order Motion To Stay Proceedings as to Allocation of the Amari Suit Plaintiffs' Shares of the Amari Suit Recovery 42 is granted. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 6/18/2015:Mailed notice(clw, )
August 20, 2015
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REDACTED MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: Motion to dismiss Count III 84 and motion to dismiss Count IV 88 are granted and defendant Needle's Counterclaims III and IV are dismissed -- with prejudice, because Need le cannot allege via an y amendment that the attorneys' fees were in the written settlement agreement itself. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 8/20/2015:Mailed notice(clw, )
February 2, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order: For the reasons set out in detail in this opinion Royce's and the Amari Group's motions for sanctions 136137 against Needle, P.C., Anthony F. Fata and Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel, LLP are granted under Rules 11(b)(1) and (2) and denied under Rule 11(b)(3). To discuss (1) the implementation of those rulings, (2) the continuing posture of Needle, P.C. in this litigation, (3) the subject referred to in the preceding paragraph of this Conclusion and (4) the further proceedings in this action generally, a status hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. February 12, 2016. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 2/2/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
February 2, 2016
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Supplement to Memorandum Opinion and Order entered 2/2/2016. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 2/2/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
March 14, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Order: The Needle, P.C. motion for extension 225 is denied as tendered. Needle is granted only until March 21, 2016 to file a response to the Order. (For further details see Memorandum Order) Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 3/14/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
March 28, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 3/28/2016. Mailed notice (ao,)
April 18, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Order: It is hereby ordered that: 1. Royce's and the Amari Parties' Fee Petitions are granted in the aggregate amount of $154,285.70. Each of CCMS and Needle, P.C. is liable for 50% of that amount ($77,142.85). 2. Upon payment by CCMS of its 50% share of that aggregate amount, as set forth in the Confidential Settlement Agreement, CCMS shall have no further obligations or liability to Amari, Royce and their respective attorneys arising from the February 2 Opinion, and Amari, Royce and their respective attorneys shall have no further obligations or liability to CCMS. 3. All claims and defenses (a) that were or could have been asserted by Royce, Amari or their attorneys against CCMS in this litigation, or (b) that were or could have been asserted by CCMS against Royce, Amari or their attorneys in this litigation, are hereby dismissed with prejudice or forever released as provided for in the Confidential Settlement Agreement, with those parties to bear their own respective attorneys' fees and costs. 4. Royce, as sole escrow agent of an escrow account over which this Court has jurisdiction, is directed to pay 50% of the aggregate amount referred to above (that is, $77,142.85) from Needle, P.C.'s share of attorneys' fees held by Royce as escrowee, in satisfaction of Needle, P.C.'s liability pursuant to the February 2 Opinion and this memorandum order. That payment shall be allocated $20,874.86 to the Amari Parties' attorneys, Tenney & Bentley, LLC, and $56,267.99 to Royce's attorneys, Bailey Borlack Nadelhoffer LLC. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 4/18/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
April 19, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order; For the reasons set out in this memorandum opinion and order, the motions that constitute Dkt. Nos. 245 and 247 are denied without prejudice, and the motions set out in Dkt. Nos. 253 and 255 are granted. A status hearing is set for 8:45 a.m. April 25, 2016 to discuss further proceedings in the case, and (to avoid any further claimed confusion in this respect) Needle is ordered to appear in person at that hearing. If that early date, which has been chosen because of this Court's tight schedule, is inconvenient for any of the interested parties, they should communicate with each other to suggest an early alternative. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 4/19/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
April 20, 2016
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Amendment to April 19, 2016 Memorandum Opinion and Order - References to $600 on pages 2 and 3 of the opinion should have been $1,300, and the opinion is amended accordingly. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 4/20/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
June 14, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Order: Michael R. Needle, P.C. and Michael Needle (individually) are ordered to cease the practice of non-record communications on matters (large or small) relating to this convoluted litigation. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 6/14/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
June 21, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order: For the reasons given in this opinion and in open court, the Amari Parties' motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 290) is granted and both cross-claims against them are dismissed without leave to amend. As for their motion (also part of Dkt. No. 290) to strike the extended narrative that precedes those cross-claim counts, it too is granted, not only because of its irrelevancy to the issue resolved here but also because it so blatantly flouts the Rule 8(a)(2) mandate requiring "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 6/21/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
August 1, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order: Because this Court is not in a position to compel a distribution of the Recovery at present, Cardullo's motion (Dkt. No. 299) is denied as to that issue without prejudice. But to permit the Amari Parties the opportunity to file a motion to compel arbitration if they choose to do so, this Court grants the portion of Cardullo's motion requesting that the stay on proceedings as to the allocation of the Recovery be lifted. And lastly, the earlier-mentioned status hearing is set for 8:45 a.m. on August 18, 2016. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 8/1/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
September 19, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order; Status hearing held on 9/15/2016. To begin with two items that need no further explanation, the motions in Dkt. Nos. 370 and 389 are granted. More substantively, for the reasons and on the bases set out in this opinion, and after full deliberation, this Court orders: 1. As stated at the beginning of this opinion's discussion of the various motions, Needle is directed to respond to Royce's Dkt. No. 387 motion on or before September 29, 2016. 2. Because of the inappropriateness of Needle's conduct during the limited period since he was granted pro hac vice status, that status is revoked. 3. With that done, Royce's Dkt. No. 394 motion is granted, and Needle and Needle P.C. are ordered to obtain responsible new counsel to represent Needle P.C. in this action on or before October 17, 2016. 4. Needle P.C.'s Second Amended Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims and all earlier versions of that pleading submitted in response to the Complaint in this action are stricken without prejudice. 5. Because Royce's Dkt. Nos. 365 and 367 motions have targeted portions of the now-stricken Needle, P.C. pleadings, those Royce motions are denied without prejudice, but solely on mootness grounds and without any expression of views as to their substantive merit. 6. In light of the orders in Paragraphs 4 and 5, the September 13 responses to Royce's now-mooted Dkt. Nos. 365 and 367 (those responses comprise Dkt. Nos. 392 and 396) are also stricken without prejudice. 7. This action is set for a next status hearing at 8:45 a.m. October 25, 2016, at which time the newly-obtained counsel for Needle P.C. is expected to attend. Before the October 25 date that new counsel is ordered to seek to inform himself or herself to the greatest extent possible in the limited frame available for that purpose. It is this Court's intention that the new counsel should give prompt consideration to what portions of the now-stricken pleadings by Needle P.C. can properly be considered for reassertion in compliance with the objective and subjective good faith demanded by Rule 11(b). Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 9/19/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
October 19, 2016
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MEMORANDUM Order: On October 18, 2016 Michael R. Needle, P.C. ("Needle P.C.") and Michael Needle ("Needle") individually had noticed up, for presentment that day, the three motions identified later in this memorandum order. This Court dealt with those motions in an extended oral statement that addressed the motions at length, resulting in the following rulings: 1. Dkt. No. 417, captioned "Motion To Vacate Sua Sponte Revocation of Admission Pro Hac Vice and Refer It to a Different Judge," was denied in the form advanced in that motion. Instead Needle individually was granted leave to appear pro hac vice as counsel for Needle P.C. on a basis limited to addressing the questions of law posed by the Answer (including its claimed Affirmative Defenses) and the Counterclaims previously filed by Needle P.C. This Court rejected the oral motion by Needle to proceed with discovery in that respect before the pleadings issues have been resolved. 2. Dkt. No. 418, captioned "Michael R. Needle P.C.'s Motion To Amend and Clarify the Court's 9/19/16 Order (Dkt. 403)," was also denied in the form advanced in that motion. Instead the preexisting order that Needle P.C. (which necessarily means Needle individually, for he is the sole member of that P.C.) should exercise active efforts to obtain independent counsel to act as co-counsel with Needle individually on behalf of Needle P.C. must continue on an active basis, with regular reports to this Court in that respect. In substantial part, though not solely, that effort is required in light of the problems addressed by what has been referred to as the "lawyer-witness rule." 3. Dkt. No. 419, captioned "Michael R. Needle's Motion To Extend Deadline in the Court's 9/19/16 Order (Dkt. 403)," was granted as stated above as to Dkt. No. 418. In that respect Needle P.C. and Needle individually were ordered to refrain from the pejorative characterizations that have acted before now to chill the prospects of success in complying with their obligation to obtain co-counsel. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 10/19/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
January 13, 2017
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MEMORANDUM Order. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 1/13/2017:Mailed notice(clw, )
February 10, 2017
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MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 2/10/2017:Mailed notice(clw, )