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Ellis-Hall Consultants, LLC v. Hoffman
United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
August 23, 2017
ELLIS-HALL CONSULTANTS, LLC; a Utah limited liability company; and ANTHONY HALL, an individual, Plaintiffs,
GEORGE B. HOFFMAN IV, an individual; PARSONS KINGHORN HARRIS NKA COHNE KINGHORN, P.C., a Utah professional corporation; MATTHEW M. BOLEY, an individual; KIMBERLY L. HANSEN, an individual; GARY E. JUBBER, an individual; and DAVID R. HAGUE, an individual, FABIAN & CLENDENIN NKA FABIAN VANCOTT, P.C., a Utah professional corporation, Defendants. In re RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Debtor, ELIZABETH R. LOVERIDGE, Trustee, Plaintiff,
TONY HALL; ELLIS-HALL CONSULTANTS, LLC; SUMMIT WIND POWER, LLC, SSP, A Trust Scott Rasmussen-Trustee, and DOES I-X, Defendants. SUMMIT WIND POWER, LLC Counterclaimants,
GEORGE HOFMANN, Chapter 7 Trustee, Counterclaim Defendant. SUMMIT WIND POWER, LLC, and KIMBERLY CERUTI, an individual, Third-Party Plaintiffs,
PARSONS KINGHORN HARRIS, a professional corporation; GEORGE B. HOFMANN; MATTHEW BOLEY; KIMBERLY L. HANSEN; VICTOR P. COPELAND; LISA R. PETERSEN; and MELYSSA DAVIDSON, individuals Third-Party Defendants.
BENSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Third-Party Defendants Lisa R.
Peterson and Melyssa D. Davidson's (collectively
“the Moving Parties”) motion for summary judgment
dismissing all claims asserted by Third-Party Plaintiffs
Summit Wind Power, LLC (“Summit Wind”) and
Kimberly Ceruti (“Ceruti”). (Dkt. No. 74.) On
January 4, 2017, Summit Wind filed an opposition to the
motion, and on February 16, 2017, Ceruti filed a pro
se opposition to the motion. (Dkt. Nos. 94 and 113-1,
respectively.) The Moving Parties replied to Summit Wind on
February 1, 2017, and replied to Ceruti on February 16, 2017.
(Dkt. Nos. 111 & 117, respectively.) Accordingly, the
motion is ready for decision. Pursuant to civil rule 7-1(f)
of the United States District Court for the District of Utah
Rules of Practice, the Court elects to determine the motion
on the basis of the written memoranda and finds that oral
argument would not be helpful or necessary. DUCivR 7-1(f).
reviewed the record in this case, including the written
memoranda filed by the parties, the Court rules as follows.
Summit Wind's Request Pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(d)
initial matter, the Court denies Summit Wind's Rule 56(d)
request for additional discovery. In the bankruptcy court,
Judge Thurman provided Summit Wind with the opportunity to
engage in discovery related to the issues now before the
Court. Counsel for Summit Wind responded by serving several
requests for admission, requests for production, and numerous
interrogatories. Thereafter, Summit Wind received detailed
answers to interrogatories, which showed that Peterson and
Davidson were not given communications that would have
alerted them to the offending behavior. In addition, Summit
Wind had the opportunity to cross-examine Peterson and
Davidson at an evidentiary hearing, held before Judge
Thurman, on these very issues. As such, the Court finds that
the facts material to this motion have already been
extensively discovered. Accordingly, Summit Wind's
request for additional discovery pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(d) is denied.
Peterson & Davidson's Motion for Summary
Court concludes that even construing the facts in the light
most favorable to the Third Party Plaintiffs there is an
insufficient factual basis to support the Third Party
Plaintiffs' claims against Peterson and Davidson. More
specifically, the Court finds that the claims alleged do not
arise out of any representation by either Peterson or
Davidson as counsel for Third-Party Plaintiffs Summit Wind or
the Court finds there is no evidence to support a finding
that Davidson and/or Peterson knew about any potential
conflict of interest regarding Ceruti or Summit Wind. To the
contrary, the undisputed evidence shows that Peterson and
Davidson did not know, and had no reasonable basis to know,
of Summit Wind or Ceruti's alleged current representation
and the alleged offending behavior of other attorneys
affiliated with Parsons Kinghorn & Harris. Similarly,
there is no evidence that Peterson or Davidson knew about
Hofmann's March 23, 2012 letter either before or at the
time it was sent, or that they had any involvement whatsoever
in the issues or facts discussed in Hofmann's March 23,
2012 letter to Ellis-Hall Consulting.
the Court concludes that the Third-Party Plaintiffs, Summit
Wind and Ceruti, have improperly included Peterson and
Davidson in the Third-Party Complaint, and Peterson ...