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Wang Hartmann Gibbs & Cauley, PC v. Silver Point Capital

October 26, 2009

TITLE: WANG HARTMANN GIBBS & CAULEY, PC
v.
SILVER POINT CAPITAL, L.P.; SILVER POINT FINANCE, LLC; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable David O. Carter, Judge

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

DOCKET ENTRY

[I hereby certify that this document was served by first class mail or Government messenger service, postage prepaid, to all counsel (or parties) at their respective most recent address of record in this action on this date.]

Kristee Hopkins Not Present

PROCEEDING (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE SCHEDULING ORDER AND FOR PERMISSION TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Before the Court is Plaintiff Wang Hartmann Gibbs & Cauley, PC ("Plaintiff")'s Motion for Leave to Amend the Scheduling Order and for Permission to File First Amended Complaint ("Motion"). The Court finds the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local R. 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing, and replying papers, and for the reasons stated below, the Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

On November 12, 2008, Plaintiff filed an action against Defendants Silver Point Capital, L.P., Silver Point Finance, LLC, and Does 1 through 25, inclusive (collectively "Defendants") in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, alleging (1) inducement of breach of contract; (2) intentional interference with prospective advantage; and (3) negligent interference with prospective advantage. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, and 1446, Defendants removed the action to this Court on December 12, 2008.

The parties submitted their Rule 26(f) Report on February 23, 2009. On March 9, 2009, this Court issued a Scheduling Order instructing the parties to file any motions to join other parties or for leave to amend pleadings by May 7, 2009. The Court's Scheduling Order also set December 1, 2009 as the Discovery cut-off date and ordered the parties to serve all written discovery requests at least 45 days prior to that date.

B. Relevant Factual Background

Plaintiff's initial Complaint alleges, inter alia, that Defendants obstructed the payment of fees owed by Vivitar Corporation ("Vivitar") to Plaintiff for legal work performed by Plaintiff under four legal service agreements between Vivitar and Plaintiff. See Notice of Removal, Ex. A ¶¶ 10-19. The Complaint identifies Defendants as alter egos and creditors of Vivitar's parent, Syntax-Brillian Corporation ("Syntax-Brillian"). It further alleges that Syntax-Brillian's General Counsel informed Plaintiff that Defendants had advised Vivitar against paying legal fees rightfully owed to Plaintiff soon after entering into a credit and guaranty agreement (the "Credit Agreement") with Syntax-Brillian. Id.

¶ 12-15. Therefore, "Defendants [sic] actions caused Vivitar to breach the legal services agreements with [Plaintiff] and but for the conduct of Defendants, Vivitar would have performed as set forth in the legal service agreements." Id. ¶ 18.

Plaintiff claims that in February 2009,*fn1 it served Defendants with its first set of written discovery, including special interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for documents to Defendants. Mot. at 2. Later that month, on February 23, 2009, the parties filed their Joint Rule 26(f) Report, which identified Defendants collectively as a joint creditor of Vivitar. See Joint Rule 26(f) Report at 2-3. On May 27, 2009, Defendants submitted 1408 pages of documents in response to Plaintiff's initial written discovery requests. Approximately two months later, between July 15 and 17, 2009, the parties met and conferred regarding the comprehensiveness of Defendants' discovery responses as well as the soundness of the causes of action in Plaintiff's Complaint. See Ohashi Decl. in support of Mot., Exs. F-K. As part of that correspondence, Plaintiff shared its intention to amend its Complaint to add a cause of action for unjust enrichment, solicited Defendants' ...


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