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Corpac v. Does

United States District Court, E.D. New York

August 1, 2013

JOHN T. CORPAC, an individual, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
RUBIN & ROTHMAN, LLC, a New York Limited Liability Company; and JOHN AND JANE DOES NUMBERS 1 THROUGH 25., Defendants

For Plaintiffs: William F. Horn, Esq., of Counsel, Law Offices of William F. Horn, Fresh Meadows, NY.

For Rubin & Rothman, the Defendant: Joseph Latona, Esq., of Counsel, Rubin & Rothman. Islandia, NY; Robert L. Arleo, Esq., Haines Falls, NY.

For the Objector Patrick Sejour: Brian L. Bromberg, Esq., of Counsel, Bromberg Law Office, P.C., New York, NY; Matthew A. Schedler, Esq., of Counsel, CAMBA Legal Services, Brooklyn, NY.

Page 350

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

On September 8, 2010, John T. Corpac, on behalf of himself and a putative class (the " class" or the " Plaintiffs" ) commenced this action against the Defendant Rubin & Rothman, LLC (the " Defendant" ) pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § § 1692, et. seq. (the " FDCPA" ). The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant violated the FDCPA bye sending written collection communications that falsely represented or implied that an attorney had meaningfully reviewed the Plaintiffs' account and was meaningfully involved in the decision to send the communication.

On January 28, 2013, the Court issued an order directing co-defense counsel Robert L. Arleo (" Arleo" ) to withdraw from this action by February 17, 2013 (the " January 28, 2013 Order" ). According to the Court, disqualification of Arleo was appropriate because the proposed settlement of this case had not been approved by the Court. The Court reasoned that if Arleo were to remain as co-counsel for the Defendant, he would be involved in (1) the future notice situation; (2) the possible objection hearings; (3) the settlement procedures; and (4) if necessary, the trial. In the Court's view, this presented a potentially serious issue because Arleo had previously served as co-counsel with the Plaintiff's attorney William F. Horn (" Horn" ) in twenty-three other similar class actions brought under the FDCPA and, thus, most likely knew confidential matters about Horn, his method

Page 351

of handing a FDCPA cause of action and his settlement techniques.

Arleo now moves for reconsideration of the January 28, 2013 Order. In this regard, Arleo does not challenge the Court's holding prohibiting Arleo from being involved in any negotiations with respect to a revised class notice plan, settlement procedures or trial, if a trial becomes necessary. Rather, Arleo only requests that the Court modify the January 28, 2013 Order so as to allow him to serve as co-defense counsel if the parties are able to negotiate a new class notice plan which is approved by the Court.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Arleo's motion.

I. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

A motion for reconsideration in the Eastern District of New York is governed by Local Rule 6.3. " The standard for granting such a motion is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked--matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court." Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc.,70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). " The major grounds justifying reconsideration are an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent ...


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