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Sovereign General Insurance Services, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


December 23, 2008

SOVEREIGN GENERAL INSURANCE SERVICES, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE COMPANY, AN OHIO CORPORATION, NATIONAL CASUALTY COMPANY, A WISCONSIN CORPORATION, SCOTTSDALE INDEMNITY COMPANY, AN OHIO CORPORATION, WESTERN HERITAGE INSURANCE COMPANY, AN ARIZONA CORPORATION, R. MAX WILLIAMSON, AN INDIVIDUAL, JOSEPH A. LUGHES, AN INDIVIDUAL, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.
WESTERN HERITAGE INSURANCE COMPANY, AN ARIZONA CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SOVEREIGN GENERAL INSURANCE SERVICES, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; MARTIN F. SULLIVAN, SR. AND GLORIA SULLIVAN, HUSBAND AND WIFE, GUARANTORS, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Western Heritage seeks attorney's fees in this matter, both as the successful party at trial on its affirmative claims in its own action against Sovereign General and Martin and Gloria Sullivan, and due to its successful summary judgment motion against Sovereign General in Sovereign General's lawsuit against Western. Judgment pursuant to the jury's October 1, 2008 verdict in Western's lawsuit was entered on October 7, 2008; summary judgment in favor of both Western Heritage and its other co-defendants (Scottsdale Insurance Company, National Casualty Company, Scottsdale Indemnity Company, R. Max Williamson and Joseph a Lughes) was entered by February 20, 2007 as to the suit instituted by Sovereign General. Both requests for attorney's fees are properly before the Court now that this litigation has been resolved here in its entirety.

Despite the fact that this case has been concluded at the district court level, on October 29, 2008, Sovereign General filed a Notice of Appeal both as to the summary judgment rendered against it in 2007 and the judgment following jury verdict in 2008.

This Court may defer its ruling on attorney's fees when an appeal on the merits is pending. See 1993 Advisory Committee Notes to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) ("if an appeal on the merits of the case is taken, the [district] court may rule on the claim for fees, may defer its ruling on the, motion, or may deny the motion without prejudice directing under subdivision (d)(2)(B) a new period for filing after the appeal has been resolved"); see also Dumas v. New United Motor Mfg., 2007 WL 1880377 at *2 (N.D. Cal. 2007).

Given the pendency of Sovereign General's appeal, both Western Heritage's Motion for Attorney's Fees (Docket No. 177, filed October 20, 2008) and its previous Motion, also requesting attorney's fees along with the other Scottsdale Defendants (Docket No. 88, filed March 16, 2007), are DENIED*fn1 at this juncture, without prejudice to being renewed following disposition of this matter upon appeal.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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