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First American Title Insurance v. John Kenneally; Bosa California LLC; Bosa

August 24, 2011

FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN KENNEALLY; BOSA CALIFORNIA LLC; BOSA DEVELOPMENT CALIFORNIA INC.; THE WESTON FIRM, P.C.; BECK & LEE, P.A., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

The matters before the Court are the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for Statutory Interpleader (ECF No. 15) filed by Defendant Beck & Lee, P.A. and the Motion for Order of Discharge and Injunction (ECF No. 22) filed by Plaintiff First American Title Insurance Company.

BACKGROUND

On February 8, 2011, Plaintiff First American Title Co. ("First American") filed the Complaint for Statutory Interpleader. (ECF No. 1). On February 15, 2011, Plaintiff First American deposited into the Court's registry $65,000.00. (ECF No. 6).

On March 10, 2011, Defendants BOSA California LLC and BOSA Development California Inc. filed an Answer. (ECF No. 14). On March 16, 2011, Defendant Beck & Lee, P.A. filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF no. 15). On March 21, 2011, Defendant the Weston Firm, P.C. and Defendant John Kenneally filed Answers. (ECF Nos. 20-21). On that same day, Plaintiff First American filed a Motion for Order of Discharge and Injunction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1335, 2361. (ECF No. 22).

On April 4, 2011, Plaintiff First American filed an Opposition to Defendant Beck's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 24). On that same day Beck filed an Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Order of Discharge and Injunction. (ECF No. 25). On April 11, 2011, Plaintiff First American filed a Reply. (ECF No. 26).

ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff First American is a California corporation. Defendant Bosa California LLC is a California limited liability company. Defendant Bosa Development California, Inc. is a California corporation. Defendant John Kenneally ("Kenneally") is a citizen of California. Defendant The Weston Firm, P.C. ("Weston") is a California corporation. Defendant Beck & Lee P.A. ("Beck & Lee") is a Florida corporation.

Plaintiff alleges that in November 2006, John Kenneally, signed a purchase contract with Bosa LLC for a condominium unit in the Bayside condominium project developed by Bosa in San Diego. Kenneally paid approximately $200,000 into an escrow account with First American, the escrow agent, as a deposit on the purchase price. A dispute arose between Kenneally and Bosa over representations regarding the size of the condominium unit and Kenneally filed a federal action: Kenneally et al. v. Bank of Nova Scotia, et al., Case No. 09-cv-02039-WQH JMA, Southern District of California. Kenneally sought rescission of the purchase contract.

First American was named as a defendant in the federal action. "Kenneally did not assert any alleged misrepresentations or other alleged misconduct as to First American; rather, Kenneally named First American as a defendant in the federal action solely because First American held Kenneally's escrowed deposit." (ECF No. 1 at 3). "First American filed a motion to dismiss and, on or about April 28, 2010, obtained an order dismissing First American from the federal action." Id.

Kenneally was represented by Weston when he filed the Complaint. On January 4, 2010, Weston and Beck & Lee filed papers reflecting that Beck & Lee were appearing as counsel for Kenneally.

Kenneally and Bosa reached a settlement of the federal action that called for the escrow deposit to be disbursed. A fee dispute developed between Beck & Lee and the Weston Firm and Kenneally. On September 21, 2010, Beck & Lee provided First American with a "Charging Lien" against $65,000.00 of the escrow deposit.

On October 20, 2010, Beck & Lee filed a separate lawsuit in Florida state court entitled: Beck & Lee, P.A. v. John Kenneally, et al., Case No. 10- 56264CA25 (Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County). Beck & Lee asserts three claims: (1) breach of contract against the Weston Firm and Kenneally; (2) quantum meruit against the Weston Firm and Kenneally; and (3) adjudication and imposition of Attorney's charging lien against the Weston Firm, Kenneally, First American, BOSA California LLC, and BOSA Development California Inc. (ECF No. 1-1 at 63-67). "Beck & Lee named First American as a defendant in the Florida Action solely based on the allegation ... that ...


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