United States District Court, D. New Jersey
TAMMY MARIE HAAS and CONRAD SZCZPANIAK, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
BURLINGTON COUNTY, et al., Defendants.
D. POPLAR CARL D. POPLAR, P.A. WILLIAM A. RIBACK WILLIAM
RIBACK, LLC DAVID J. NOVACK BUDD LARNER, PC Attorneys for
Plaintiffs Tammy Marie Haas and Conrad Szczpaniak,
individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated
H.C. CROOK CAPEHART & SCATCHARD, P.A. Attorneys for
Defendants Burlington County, Burlington County Correctional
Facility, and Ronald Cox.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
are three remaining motions before the Court in this
long-standing action. The first two motions relate to the
status of Attorney Susan Lask's pro hac vice
admission. The Poplar Group has moved to vacate Attorney
Lask's pro hac vice admission (ECF No. 438)
while the Novack Group has cross-moved to voluntarily
withdraw Attorney Lask's admission (ECF No. 444). The
Court also has before it the Poplar Group's motion to
reconsider the Court's September 24, 2019 Opinion
and Order adopting and accepting Magistrate Judge
Schneider's Report and Recommendation regarding the
allocation of attorneys' fees between class counsel. (ECF
reasons expressed below, the Poplar Group's motion to
vacate Attorney Lask's pro hac vice admission
(ECF No. 438) will be denied, the Novack Group's
cross-motion to withdraw Attorney Lask's pro hac
vice admission (ECF No. 444) will be granted, and the
Poplar Group's motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 449)
will be denied.
January 31, 2019, this Court granted final settlement
approval in this enduring class action. (ECF No. 383). As
part of the settlement, the Court approved a counsel fee and
litigation cost award of $925, 000. See (ECF No. 328
at 7). Class Counsel, however, could not agree on how to
share the award among themselves. As such, the Court
attempted to facilitate an amicable resolution of the matter,
albeit unsuccessfully. After counsel could not amicably
resolve the issue, on September 3, 2019, Magistrate Judge
Schneider issued a Report and Recommendation (the
“R&R”) recommending an allocation of the fee.
(ECF No. 441). On September 17, 2019, the Poplar Group filed
objections to the R&R, and the Court undertook a de
novo review of it.
the Poplar Group's objections to the R&R remained
pending before this Court, the Poplar Group moved to vacate
Attorney Lask's pro hac vice admission, citing
what this Court previously described as “troubling
findings of Judge Loretta A. Preska of the Southern District
of New York regarding Ms. Lask and litigation ongoing in that
district[.]” (ECF No. 438); Haas v. Burlington
Cty., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162700, *13-14 (D.N.J. Sept.
24, 2019) (Hillman, J.). In response, the Novack Group
cross-moved to withdraw Attorney Lask's pro hac
vice admission. (ECF No. 444).
September 24, 2019, this Court issued an Opinion and Order
adopting and affirming the R&R in its entirety. (ECF Nos.
447 (Opinion) & 448 (Order)). On October 3, 2019, the
Poplar Group moved for reconsideration of the September 24,
2019 Opinion and Order (the “Motion for
Reconsideration”). (ECF No. 449). The Novack Group
filed opposition on October 18, 2019. (ECF No. 450).
pending motions (ECF Nos. 438, 444, & 449) - the last
three remaining in this case - are fully briefed and ripe for
Standard Governing Motion For Reconsideration
Rule 7.1(i) allows a party to file a motion with the Court
requesting the Court reconsider the “matter or
controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or
Magistrate Judge has overlooked[.]” Under Local Rule
7.1(i), the moving party must demonstrate “the need to
correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest
injustice.” Andreyko v. Sunrise Sr. Living,
Inc., 993 F.Supp.2d 475, 478 (D.N.J. 2014) (citations
omitted). In doing so, the moving party must show the
“dispositive factual matter or controlling decisions of
law” it believes the court overlooked in its initial
decision. Mitchell v. Twp. Of Willingboro, 913
F.Supp.2d 62, 78 (D.N.J. 2012) (citations omitted). A mere
disagreement with the Court will not suffice to show that the
Court overlooked relevant facts or controlling law.
United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F.Supp.2d
339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999).
The Poplar Group's Motion ...