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Kohn Law Group, Inc. v. Auto Parts Mfg. Miss., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

June 4, 2015

KOHN LAW GROUP, INC., a California corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
AUTO PARTS MANUFACTURING MISSISSIPPI, INC., a Mississippi corporation, Defendant-Appellee

Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California February 6, 2015.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:12-cv-08063-MWF-MRW. Michael W. Fitzgerald, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[*]

First-To-File Rule

The panel affirmed the district court's order staying proceedings under the first-to-file rule in an action brought by Kohn Law Group, Inc., under § 9607(a)(3) of the California Commercial Code alleging it was entitled to payments Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc., owed to a third party.

The first-to-file rule allows a district court to stay proceedings if a similar case with substantially similar issues and parties was previously filed in another district court.

The panel held that a Mississippi interpleader action was a previously filed lawsuit involving substantially similar parties and issues where the Mississippi action was filed first, the present case involved substantially similar issues as the Mississippi action, and the present case involved the issue to be determined in the Mississippi action. The panel concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion by staying the present action under the first-to-file rule.

Robert Kohn (argued), Kohn Law Group, Santa Monica, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Michael Matthias (argued) and Gabriel Drucker, Baker & Hostetler, Los Angeles, California, for Defendant-Appellee.

Before: Michael J. Melloy,[*] Jay S. Bybee, and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1238

MELLOY, Circuit Judge:

Kohn Law Group, Inc. (Kohn Law) sued Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. (APMM) under ยง 9607(a)(3) of the California Commercial Code, alleging Kohn Law was entitled to payments APMM owed to a third party. The Central District of California stayed the proceedings, finding the question presented was already being litigated ...


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