United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
MICHAEL T. PARKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on the Motion to Intervene 
filed by Jernigan Copeland Attorneys, PLLC (“Jernigan
Copeland”). Having considered the parties'
submissions and the applicable law, the Court finds that the
Motion  should be granted.
interpleader action arose as a result of another action
before this Court, Guideone Elite Insurance Company, v.
Mount Carmel Ministries, , Civil Action No.
2:13-cv-134-KS-MTP. That action was an insurance dispute
arising from tornado damage to a church building belonging to
Mount Carmel Ministries and Alpha Christian School
(“Mount Carmel”). On December 3, 2015, the Court
held that GuideOne Elite Insurance Company
(“GuideOne”) was required to pay Mount Carmel and
the mortgagee of the property, Seaway Bank and Trust Company
(“Seaway Bank”), $1, 693.035.31 in benefits under
the subject insurance policy.
March 20, 2017, GuideOne filed this interpleader action,
requesting that it be allowed to deposit the judgment
proceeds into the Court. According to GuideOne, Mount Carmel
and the State Bank of Texas-the successor in interest of
Seaway Bank-have separately demanded all of the proceeds from
the judgment and are not in agreement on a division of the
proceeds. On May 25, 2017, the Court permitted GuideOne to
deposit the judgment proceeds into the registry of the Court
and dismissed GuideOne from this action.
Copeland represented Mount Carmel in the underlying action
pursuant to a contingency fee agreement and filed a Motion to
Intervene  in this action in order to protect its claims
for attorneys' fees and expenses. Jernigan Copeland seeks
to intervene as of right pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 24(a)(2). Alternatively, it seeks a permissive
intervention pursuant to Rule 24(b)(1)(B). Mount Carmel
opposes the intervention.
Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) provides:
timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who:
. . .
(2) claims an interest relating to the property or
transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so
situated that disposing of the action may as a practical
matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect
its interest, unless existing parties adequately represent
Civ. P. 24(a)(2). In order to intervene as a right, a movant
must meet the following four prerequisites:
(1) the application for intervention must be timely; (2) the
applicant must have an interest relating to the property or
transaction which is the subject of the action; (3) the
applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the
action may, as a practical matter, impair his ability to
protect that interest; (4) the applicant's interest must
be inadequately represented by the existing parties to the
Talyor v. Commc'ns Grp., Inc. v. Southwestern Bell
Tel. Co., 172 F.3d 385, 387 (5th Cir. 1999). A
movant's “[f]ailure to meet any one of these
requirements is fatal to a claim of intervention as of
Rule of Civil Procedure 24(b) governs permissive intervention
and provides that “[o]n timely motion, the court may
permit anyone to intervene who: . . . (B) has a claim or
defense that shares with the main action a common question of
law or fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)(1)(B). Rule 24(b) also
provides that “[i]n exercising its discretion, the
court must consider whether the intervention will unduly
delay or prejudice the adjudication of the original
parties' rights.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)(3). Even if
the requirements of Rule 24(b)(1)(B) are satisfied,
permissive joinder is wholly discretionary with the court.
New Orleans Pub. Serv., Inc. v. United Gas Pipe Line
Co., 732 F.2d 452, 464 (5th Cir. 1984).
Unites States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held
that a discharged law firm retained on a contingency fee
basis may intervene as a matter of right in an action to
protect its interests under the contingency fee agreement.
See Gaines v. Dixie Carriers, Inc., 434 F.2d 52 (5th
Cir. 1970). In Gaines, the plaintiff signed a
contingency fee contract with a law firm to represent him in
a personal injury action. After the law firm spent
considerable time litigating the case, the plaintiff
discharged the law firm and substituted another law firm as
counsel. Thereafter, the discharged law firm moved to
intervene in order to protect its interest in the
attorney's fees. The district court dismissed the
intervention, but the court of appeals reversed that
decision. Id. at 53-54.
Fifth Circuit held that “it is clear that the . . . law
firm here claimed an interest in the subject of the action .
. . and is so situated that the final disposition of the
action may as a practical matter impair or impede its ability
to protect that interest.” Id. at 54. The
court also noted that “[n]either of ...