United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
Appellant-Debtor Christopher Martin Ridgeway's
(“Debtor”) Motion and Memorandum in Support for
Leave to Appeal Order Denying Debtor's Motion to be
Reconsidered (Rec. Doc. 1) and Appellees', Stryker
Corporation and Howmedica Osteonics Corporation
(collectively, “Appellees”), Response in
Opposition to Motion for Leave to Appeal. Rec. Doc. 6. Also
before the Court is Debtor's Motion to Expedite Appeal
(Rec. Doc. 9). For the following reasons, IT IS
ORDERED that Debtor's Motion for Leave to Appeal
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Debtor's Motion to
Expedite is DISMISSED as moot.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
the Court is a request by the Debtor seeking leave to appeal
a decision of the Bankruptcy Court that struck his common
core doctrine objections to Appellees proofs of claim for
attorney fees and costs. Rec. Doc. 1. In particular,
Appellees proofs of claim for attorney's fees and costs
were submitted based on an underlying judgment in federal
court in the Western District of Michigan (“Michigan
controversy originated in Michigan, where Appellees brought a
claim against Debtor-former employee of Appellees-in part,
for violation of a non-compete under the Michigan Uniform
Trade Secrets Act (“MUTSA”). Rec. Doc. 1 at 7-11.
Following jury trial, judgment was entered in favor of
Appellees and against the Debtor on March 9, 2016. Rec. Doc.
1 at 8-9. Debtor appealed the judgment, which was affirmed by
the Sixth Circuit. Id. Shortly thereafter, Debtor
filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on March
23, 2016. See In Re Christopher Martin Ridgeway, No.
16-10643 (E.D. LA 2017).
instant appeal deals with a pre-hearing, evidentiary ruling
from the Bankruptcy Court. In July of 2016, Appellees filed
proofs of claim with the Bankruptcy Court seeking an award
for attorney fees and costs based on the Michigan Case
judgment. Appellees claim is in the amount of $3, 432,
147.71: $745, 195 for actual damages, and the bulk of the
remaining $2.2 million for attorneys' fees and costs.
Rec. Docs. 1 and 6. Appellees cite the Michigan Uniform and
Trade Secrets Act, MCL 445.1901 et seq.,
(“MUTSA”) and “common core” doctrine
as one basis for an award of costs and fees. See
Bankr. Dkt. Nos. 288 and 384.
December 2016, Debtor filed his Objections to Appellees Proof
of Claim, asserting that Appellees were not entitled to
recover certain attorneys' fees under MUTSA and the
common core doctrine. Bankr. Dkt. No. 288.
April 6, 2017, after reassignment to the case, the Honorable
Judge Douglass Dodd held an initial status conference with
the Parties (the “April Conference”). Rec. Doc. 1
at 15. Unfortunately, due to a lack of any transcript for the
April Conference on the record, we have only the Parties'
best recollection of the discussions had during said
conference. Nevertheless, in pertinent part, the April
Conference order reads:
1) Not later than May 15, 2017, debtor shall file and serve
on Stryker and Howmedica's counsel a list of time entries
in Stryker and Howmedica's counsel's billing
statements that it contends are objectionable, specifying for
each entry the debtor's basis for claiming that the
debtor should not be liable for the charges relating to the
time entry, with a concluding summary of the total amounts
for each objection category.
2) Stryker and Howmedica shall file and serve on debtor's
counsel its response to each of ...