United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Astronics Advanced
Electronic Systems Corporation's (“AES”)
motion to intervene (Dkt. No. 11) and Petitioner Lufthansa
Technik's (“Lufthansa”) motion for a
scheduling order (Dkt. Nos. 2, 30). Having thoroughly
considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record,
the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS
both motions for the reasons explained herein.
seeks to intervene in Lufthansa's § 1782 application
for discovery from Panasonic Avionics Corporation
(“Panasonic”), pursuant to either Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) or 24(b)(2). (Dkt. No. 12 at 3.) AES
and Lufthansa are engaged in patent litigation in Germany and
the United States. (Id. at 4.) Panasonic is an AES
customer. (Id.) Lufthansa seeks discovery from
Panasonic for use in pending and contemplated foreign
litigation against AES. (Dkt. No. 1 at 3.) Panasonic supports
AES's motion to intervene, and Lufthansa does “not
oppose AES's intervention.” (Dkt. Nos. 25 at 1, 27
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2), a “party
seeking to intervene as of right must meet four requirements:
(1) the applicant must timely move to intervene; (2) the
applicant must have a significantly protectable interest
relating to the property or transaction that is the subject
of the action; (3) the applicant must be situated such that
the disposition of the action may impair or impede the
party's ability to protect that interest; and (4) the
applicant's interest must not be adequately represented
by existing parties.” Arakaki v. Cayetano, 324
F.3d 1078, 1083 (9th Cir. 2003). Courts liberally construe
Rule 24(a) in favor of potential intervenors and generally
accept as true allegations asserted by the proposed
intervenor. California ex rel. Lockyer v. United
States, 450 F.3d 436, 440 (9th Cir. 2006); Sw. Ctr.
for Biological Diversity v. Berg, 268 F.3d 810, 819-20
(9th Cir. 2001). The Court finds that AES's motion meets
each of these four requirements.
AES's motion to intervene is timely. It was filed less
than a month after Lufthansa filed its application for
discovery, and Lufthansa will not suffer prejudice from a
grant of intervention at this stage in the proceedings. (Dkt.
No. 12 at 8); see Citizens for Balanced Use v. Montana
Wilderness Ass'n, 647 F.3d 893, 897 (9th Cir. 2011).
AES has a significant protectable interest as a “party
to the underlying proceeding giving rise to a § 1782
application.” (See Dkt. No. 12 at 9.) AES
alleges that documents sought by Lufthansa will be used to
establish AES's liability in pending and future
litigation and may contain AES's confidential
information, demonstrating sufficient practical interest in
the outcome of the matter. (Id.); see
Lockyer, 450 F.3d at 441.
disposition of this action “may impair or impede”
AES's ability to protect its interest because a grant of
Lufthansa's application would practically affect AES in
its litigation with Lufthansa, and AES has no alternative
forum in which to oppose the discovery. (See Dkt.
at 9); Smith v. Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist., 830
F.3d 843, 862 (9th Cir. 2016).
no current party in the action will adequately represent
AES's interest in the application. AES asserts, and
Lufthansa does not dispute, that Panasonic does not have the
“motivation or historical knowledge of the parties'
litigation” to undoubtedly assert all of AES's
arguments or to provide necessary background information to
the proceeding. (Dkt. No. 12 at 10); see Arakaki,
324 F.3d at 1086.
the Court GRANTS AES's motion to intervene under Rule
24(a)(2) (Dkt. No. 11). Furthermore, the Court GRANTS in part
Lufthansa's motion for a scheduling order (Dkt. No. 2)
and accordingly sets the following briefing schedule:
Panasonic's objections to the Petition
Monday, November 27, 2017
AES's objections to the Petition
Monday, November 27, 2017
Lufthansa's reply in support of the Petition
Friday, December 1, 2017
Court interprets Lufthansa's response to AES's motion
as conceding that AES meets the elements of this test, as it
did not oppose AES's intervention or assert substantive
arguments under ...