United States District Court, D. Maryland
TIM BOND, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated Plaintiffs
CRICKET COMMUNICATIONS, LLC Defendant
MEMORANDUM & ORDER RE: STAY
J. Garbis, United States District Judge.
Court has before it Proposed Intervenor Michael Scott's
Motion for Stay Pending Appeal [ECF No. 52] and the materials
related thereto. The Court has reviewed the materials
provided by the parties and finds that a hearing is not
Tim Bond (“Bond”) filed this putative class
action against Defendant Cricket Communications, LLC
(“Cricket”)on May 8, 2015. On September 24, 2015,
Michael A. Scott (“Scott”) filed a putative class
action against Cricket in the Circuit Court for Baltimore
City. Scott's lawsuit was removed to this Court
(GLR-15-3330), remanded back to state court, appealed, and
then remanded back to federal court. During the pendency of
Scott's appeal, the state court granted Scott's
motion for class certification, which is now subject to a
motion to vacate in federal court. Also pending in
Scott's lawsuit is a motion to vacate the state
court's order denying Cricket's motion to compel
arbitration, a motion to remand the case back to state court,
a motion to stay proceedings in part, and a motion to compel
August 2017, Bond and Cricket mediated a nationwide class
settlement in principle. Scott asserts that the settlement is
not as favorable to the plaintiffs as the settlement that
Scott could obtain.
attempt to intervene in Bond's lawsuit was denied as
untimely on October 26, 2017. Scott has appealed the
Court's denial of his intervention and by the instant
motion, seeks a stay pending this appeal.
and Cricket have subsequently filed a Motion for Preliminary
Approval of Settlement [ECF No. 56], but request that the
Court rule on the motion only after an order is entered in
Scott's lawsuit voiding or vacating the state-court order
certifying the class of Maryland citizens. The settlement
agreement includes a clause that gives Cricket the unilateral
right to terminate the settlement if the Maryland-certified
class is not vacated. Therefore, the rendering of a decision
in the Scott lawsuit can be considered a practical
prerequisite to the effectiveness of the Bond-Cricket
stay is not a matter of right, ” but rather is
“an exercise of judicial discretion, ” and the
propriety “is dependent upon the circumstances of the
particular case.” Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S.
418, 433 (2009)(quoting Virginian Ry. Co. v. United
States, 272 U.S. 658, 672-73 (1926)). The standards for
granting a stay closely resemble the standards for the grant
of a preliminary injunction: “(1) whether the stay
applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be
irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of
the stay will substantially injure the other parties
interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public
interest lies.” Id. at 434 (quoting Hilton
v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 (1987)); see also
Long v. Robinson, 432 F.2d 977, 979 (4th Cir.
1970)(stating that the four factors are the law of this
first two factors of the traditional standard are the most
critical.” Nken, 556 U.S. at 434. The party
requesting the stay must demonstrate more than a “mere
possibility” of relief or irreparable harm.
Id. at 434-35 (citations omitted). “The party
requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the
circumstances justify an exercise of [the court's]
discretion.” Id. at 433-34 (citations
Probability of Scott's Success on Appeal
argues that an October 26, 2017 decision from the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit,  which reversed a district
court's denial of a motion to intervene, is materially
identical to the circumstances herein, and therefore his
appeal is likely to succeed. The Eleventh Circuit case,
however, is not similar to the instant case. Nor was its
underlying motion to intervene denied on the basis of
timeliness. See Tech. Training Assocs., Inc. v.
Buccaneers Ltd. P'ship, 874 F.3d 692, 694 (11th Cir.
2017). In Tech Training, a lawyer with the firm
representing the named plaintiff left the law firm and joined
a new law firm, which then filed a competing case with the
settling defendant, “deliberately underbid[ding] the
movants in an effort to collect attorney's fees while
doing a fraction of the work . . . .” 874 F.3d at 697.
Under those circumstances, the Eleventh Circuit court found
that the movants met the requirements to intervene as of
right, and timeliness was never a disputed factor.
Id. at 695, 698.
instant case, the Court reviewed the threshold timeliness
factors, found that Scott's intervention motion was
untimely, and exercised its discretion to deny the motion.
Memorandum and Order Re: Intervene 16, ECF No. 47. The Court
finds that the reasons for denying Scott's motion remain
valid and that the Tech ...