The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dale S. Fischer United States District Judge
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW RE THE PRIORITY OF THE SONI LAW FIRM'S CLAIM TO THE DISPUTED FUNDS RELATIVE TO SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE CO.'S AND VNU BUSINESS MEDIA, INC.'S CLAIMS
Scottsdale Insurance Co. filed this action in the nature of interpleader on February 12, 2010. The Court granted the parties' stipulation to bifurcate the action and adjudicate the priority of the Soni Law Firm's claim to the disputed funds relative to Scottsdale's and VNU Business Media, Inc.'s claims first. The parties also agreed that this matter could be decided on the papers submitted and stipulated facts.
Having reviewed the stipulated facts and papers submitted, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.
1. On April 29, 2004, the Milton H. Greene Archives, Inc. filed a copyright infringement action against BPI Communications Inc. ("BPI Action").
2. The Soni Law Firm represented the Archives in the BPI Action.
3. VNU Business Media, Inc. is the successor to BPI.
4. On May 30, 2005, Joshua Greene signed a written retainer agreement with the Soni Law Firm on behalf of the Archives, which provided that the Archives would pay Soni an hourly fee for legal services rendered after that date.
5. On October 27, 2005, the Archives filed a copyright infringement action against Julien's Auction House, LLC and Barclay-Butera, LLC ("Julien's Action").
6. Soni represented the Archives in the Julien's Action.
7. The Archives sought approximately $2.9 million against the defendants in the Julien's Action.
8. Scottsdale had issued an insurance policy that required it to pay Julien's and Barclay-Butera's legal expenses in the Julien's Action, and to indemnify them from any damage awards.
9. Pursuant to this policy, Scottsdale paid for both Julien's and Barclay-Butera's legal expenses in the Julien's Action.
10. On March 8, 2006, District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler found that VNU was the "prevailing party" in the BPI Action, and ordered the Archives to ...