TEXT ONLY ORDER denying Plaintiffs’ request for a hearing on their Motions to Amend and to Expedite. The Court, in its discretion, does not find that oral argument would be necessary or helpful in deciding the Motions. Pursuant to Uniform Local Rule 7.2(F)(1), the Court shall decide Plaintiffs’ Motions without a hearing or oral argument. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER WILL ISSUE FROM THE COURT REGARDING THIS REQUEST. Signed by District Judge Halil S. Ozerden on 9/2/2009. (EMN) (Entered: 09/02/2009)
The next day, Judge Ozerden issued an Order granting in-part O’Keefe’s Motion to file an amended complaint. O’Keefes counsel, Christopher Van Cleave, was sitting on ready and the day after Ozerden’s Order issued, he filed a Motion to Alter or Amend the Findings and/or Judgment of the Court; for a New Trial on and/or Seeking Relief from the Court’s Order...
First, a look at the Order – and be sure to read the feeling is Mutual – and so is the fact for background on the issue and a look at the chart showing the relationship of State Farm Mutual to State Farm Fire.
…the Court is of the opinion that Plaintiffs’ Motion should be granted to the extent that it seeks to amend Plaintiffs’ claims against the existing Defendants in this case.
The remaining question is whether Plaintiffs should be permitted to amend their Complaint to add an additional Defendant, State Farm Mutual. State Farm Fire maintains…that allowing Plaintiffs to amend their Complaint to add this Defendant would result in undue delay and would be futile.
Obviously, behind closed doors, Ozerden directed his attention to State Farm’s claims of futility. The irony was lost and he included a relatively lengthy discussion of futility in his Order before toeing the parte line: Continue reading “no one knows what goes on behind closed doors but O’Keefe wants to open the door to State Farm Mutual and find out!”
…these competing interests–the right to full and free access to the courts and the right to be free of groundless and vexatious litigation–are important considerations in the evenhanded process our judicial system provides for the resolution of legitimate disputes …it is my sincere hope that the type of normal, professional, and focused advocacy necessary to resolve the individual merits of the cases still outstanding will presently come to the fore.
Judge L.T. Senter, Abney v State Farm June 4, 2008
A few weeks later (June 20, 2008), Judge Senter restated his position and SLABBED reported Judge Senter loses patience with the Farm and threatens sanctions:
It is time and past time for the internecine and acrimonious warfare among the attorneys to stop and for the focus to shift to the task of resolving the many remaining cases on their merits. Anything short of this will not be tolerated.
Judge Senter’s commitment to focus on the individual merits of the cases is as reassuring, and I believe as heartfelt, as his wonderfully warm smile. Consequently, it grieves me greatly to say his north Mississippi roots are showing when he segregates the role of State Farm Mutual from the “merits of the case”.
State Farm Mutual is to State Farm Fire what SKG was to the attorneys working for the member law firms – two parts of the same whole, according to his Order in McIntosh v State Farm disqualifying all attorneys of the member firms; but, contrary to his opinions and orders when plaintiffs attempt to hold State Farm Mutual accountable for the conduct of one of the claims handling process.
Consider, for example, this text from an Order issued the 17th of March, 2008 in Marion v State Farm denying plaintiffs applications for review of certain orders of the Magistrate Judge: Continue reading “The feeling is Mutual – so is the fact”