United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Bramlette UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Plaintiff McRae Law Firm,
PLLC's Motion to Remand [Doc. 3] and
Motion to Waive the notice requirement of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 11 [Doc. 6]. Having
considered the motions, the responses, and applicable
statutory and case law, and being otherwise fully informed in
the premises, the Court finds as follows:
a long-running fee dispute between two Mississippi law firms.
The parties are non-diverse, the complaint rests upon purely
state-law theories, and the case has twice been remanded. And
now -- for a third time -- the defendant law firm removes
this action to this Court. In so doing, it posits that a
complaint filed by the plaintiff law firm in another case is
an “other paper” upon which this Court may base
its jurisdictional determination. The plaintiff law firm
moves to remand and requests sanctions.
21, 2016, Plaintiff McRae Law Firm, PLLC
(“McRae”) sued Defendant Barry W. Gilmer and his
law firm (collectively, “Gilmer”) in the Chancery
Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County on
state-law quasi-contract and breach of fiduciary duty
complains that Gilmer wrongfully retained settlement proceeds
from a legal malpractice suit. Although both firms assisted
the plaintiff in that suit, McRae insists that Gilmer's
involvement was minimal and that his fee should so reflect.
than one month after McRae filed the state-court complaint,
Gilmer removed the case. [Doc. 3-2] Gilmer's notice of
removal invoked diversity and federal-question jurisdiction,
however, the Court disclaimed the existence of either and
remanded the case. [Doc. 3-3]
month after the Court's Order of Remand, Gilmer again
removed the case. [Doc. 3-5] This time, Gilmer premised
federal jurisdiction on his “federally protected right
to a jury trial.” [Doc. 3-5]. The Court remanded the
case in a one-page order. [Doc. 3-6]
third time, Gilmer removes this action to this Court. [Doc.
1] Gilmer's latest jurisdictional theory is that a RICO
complaint McRae filed in another federal-court case is an
“other paper” creating federal-question
jurisdiction in this case.
may remove McRae's state-court suit to this Court if the
suit is one which McRae could have originally brought in
federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Original
jurisdiction may be based on diversity or federal-question
jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332.
Court is without diversity jurisdiction because McCrae's
state-court complaint confirms that McRae and at least one of
the Gilmer Defendants are Mississippi citizens. See
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); Settlement Funding, L.L.C. v.
Rapid Settlements, Ltd., 851 F.3d 530, 536 (5th Cir.
2017) (citation and quotation omitted).
Court has federal-question jurisdiction if McRae's
state-court complaint asserts a claim “arising under
the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Courts apply the
well-pleaded complaint rule to decide whether a complaint
asserts a claim arising under federal law. Beiser v.