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In re Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 6, 2017

IN RE VOLKSWAGEN "CLEAN DIESEL" MARKETING, SALES PRACTICES, AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION This Order Relates To: Dkt. No. 3195

          ORDER DENYING MORRIS POLICH & PURDY LLP'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER DENYING NON-CLASS COUNSEL'S MOTIONS FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES

          CHARLES R. BREYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On April 24, 2017, the Court denied 244 motions for attorneys' fees and costs, filed by attorneys who were not appointed as Class Counsel but who represent individual members of the 2.0-liter settlement class. (Dkt. No. 3178.)[1] The Court denied the motions because Volkswagen did not agree to pay Non-Class Counsel's fees as part of the settlement, and Non-Class Counsel did not offer evidence that their services benefited the class as opposed to their individual clients.

         On May 2, 2017, counsel at Morris Polich & Purdy LLP (“MPP”) filed a motion under Local Rule 7-9 for leave to move, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a), for reconsideration of the Court's April 24 order. (Dkt. No. 3195.) MPP represents 2.0-liter class member Christopher J. D'Angelo, and filed a complaint on his behalf in the Central District of California that was later transferred to this Court by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”). (Dkt. No. 1 at 4.) MPP filed one of the 244 motions for attorneys' fees and costs that the Court denied on April 24. (See Dkt. Nos. 2308; 3195 at 10.) In the instant motion, MPP asserts that it did offer evidence in its prior motion that its services benefited the class, which it contends the Court may have missed through oversight. Having considered MPP's arguments, as well as Class Counsel's response, the Court DENIES the motion. Before issuing its April 24 order, the Court considered MPP's evidence and concluded that the work it performed did not substantially benefit the class and therefore did not warrant an award of attorneys' fees or costs.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Before addressing MPP's arguments, it is necessary to discuss the rule that governs the firm's request for relief. MPP filed its motion pursuant to Local Rule 7-9, seeking leave to file a motion for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a). However, neither Local Rule 7-9 nor Rule 60(a) apply.

         I. Local Rule 7-9

         Local Civil Rule 7-9 provides that:

Before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all of the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties in a case, any party may make a motion before a Judge requesting that the Judge grant the party leave to file a motion for reconsideration of any interlocutory order on any ground set forth in Civil L.R. 7-9(b). No party may notice a motion for reconsideration without first obtaining leave of Court to file the motion.

N.D. Cal. L.R. Civil 7-9 (Jan. 17, 2017) (emphasis added).

         Under Local Rule 7-9(b), to obtain leave the moving party must specifically show:

(1) That at the time of the motion for leave, a material difference in fact or law exists from that which was presented to the Court before entry of the interlocutory order for which reconsideration is sought. . .; or
(2) The emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such order; or
(3) A manifest failure by the Court to consider material facts or dispositive legal arguments which were presented to the Court ...

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