The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable David O. Carter, Judge
Julie Barrera N/A Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter
ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFF: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANT:
None Present None Present
PROCEEDING: (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER DENYING U.S. ATTORNEY'S
MOTION TO INTERVENE AND FOR A PARTIAL STAY OF CIVIL DISCOVERY
Before the Court is a Motion to Intervene and for a Partial Stay of Civil Discovery brough by the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. ("Mot.," Dkt. 29.) The Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. The Court has considered the Motion and Opposition filed by Defendant James Mazzo, and hereby DENIES the Motion without prejudice.
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("the Commission") has sued Defendants Mazzo, David L. Parker ("Parker"), and Eddie C. Murray ("Murray"),*fn1 alleging that in early 2009 Mazzo, then the Chairman of Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. ("Advanced Medical"), tipped Douglas V. DeCinces ("DeCinces") information that Abbott Laboratories, Inc., was going to buy the outstanding shares of Advanced Medical. Compl. ¶¶ 1-3, 32-74. In a prior civil case, the Commission alleged that DeCinces then tipped off Parker, Murray, and three other men who traded on the basis of that information. Id. ¶¶ 6-12, 77-102. The Commission settled its claims in August 2011 as to DeCinces and the three other men that the Commission alleged had traded using the tipped information. The settlements in the DeCinces case included permanent injunctions against certain violations of the Securities and Exchange Act, as well as disgorgement of profits obtained from the trading, and civil penalties. See Final Judgments (Dkts. 7-10), Securities and Exchange Commission v. Douglas V. DeCinces et al., 8:11-SACV-1168-DOC-AN.
On November 28, 2012, a grand jury returned an indictment against DeCinces, two other defendants from the DeCinces case, and, as is most relevant here, against Parker. See Indictment, (Dkt. 1), United States v. DeCinces, et al., 8:12-CR-0269-AG. Mazzo is not a defendant in the criminal case.
On January 15, 2013, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California filed a Motion seeking to intervene and to stay any depositions in this case. The U.S. Attorney seeks this partial stay until February 11, 2014, so that the criminal case can be completed before defendants in this civil case take any depositions. The U.S. Attorney argues that "the overriding public interest in law enforcement" supports a stay, as does judicial economy, because the criminal case could resolve issues in the civil case. Mot. 2. Only Defendant Mazzo opposed the Motion. Mazzo Opp'n (Dkt. 25). The U.S. Attorney did not file a Reply to Mazzo's Opposition.
"In the absence of substantial prejudice to the rights of the parties involved," parallel civil and criminal proceedings are "unobjectionable under our jurisprudence." Keating v. Office of Thrift Supervision, 45 F.3d 322, 324 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting Securities & Exchange Comm'n v. Dresser Indus., 628 F.2d 1368, 1375 (D.C.Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 993 (1980).
The central reason that the Court shall, at this time, deny the U.S. Attorney's Motion, is that the request does not identify with any particularity what depositions would ...