United States District Court, D. Delaware
Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle
County No. N17C-08-303 FWW
McNeal, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
Michael Sutty, Esquire, and Jonathan M. Stemerman, Esquire,
Elliott Greenleaf, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Erin McNeal, who appears pro se, filed this action
in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New
Castle County. It was removed to this Court on October 6,
2017, by Defendants Peter Glazman and U.S. Pack Logistics.
(D.I. 1). The Court has federal question jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pending is Plaintiff's
motion for removal of Defendants' attorney (D.I. 16),
Defendants' motion to compel arbitration and dismiss
(D.I. 35), Defendants' motion to strike sur-reply, or
alternatively, for permission to file a response to
Plaintiff's sur-reply (D.I. 35), and Plaintiffs motion to
remain in district court, not to participate in arbitration,
and to dismiss certain defense counsel (D.I. 45). The matters
have been fully briefed.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
brings this action against Defendants Peter Glazman and U.S.
Pack Logistics. The Complaint provides New York addresses
for both Defendants and seeks more than seven million dollars
in damages. (D.I. 1-1 at p.3). Plaintiff seeks recovery
relating to "Debt/Breach of Contract[, ] . . . Age and
Sex Discrimination, APEA [sic], Title VII, Civil Rights,
Equal Rights Pay, Equal Pay Act, Equal Rights Amendment ERA,
Comparable Worth, Breach of Covenant, Implied Promises,
Breach of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Retaliation, Whistle
Blowing, Wrongful Termination, Theft by Deception, Back Pay,
Withholding of Pay, Front Pay, Defamation, Fraud,
Employee/Contractor Law with IRS and DOL, Compensatory
Damages, Work Injury, Financial Loss, Emotional [and] Mental
Stress." (Id.). Defendants removed the case
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question
jurisdiction), and note that the Court has supplemental
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims. (D.I. 1
November 5, 2013, Plaintiff "was supposedly hired as an
independent contractor for Ark Logistics under U.S. Pack
Logistics ... to pick up parcels, sort and load them into the
van, at the DHL warehouse in Elkridge, MD, and deliver the
parcels to the post offices in the Philadelphia Region."
(D.I. 1-1 at p.6). Plaintiff alleges that she, Glazman, and
U.S. Pack entered into a five-year contract/agreement.
(Id.). In December 2013, Plaintiff spoke with
Glazman about issues with Ark Logistics' performance.
(Id.). On February 24, 2014, Plaintiff was
recognized for her skills and hard work. (Id.). In
March 2014, Plaintiff was given two more routes, but her pay
was reduced. (Id. at p.7). In addition, she was not
treated equally or fairly, and she did not receive monies
owed her. (Id.)
2014, DHL leaders/owners came from another country to examine
the operations in Elkridge, Maryland, and questioned
Plaintiff "on how everything runs." (Id.
at p.8). Plaintiff alleges that Glazman was angry because he
did not like her "speaking the truth."
(Id.). On August 25, 2014, Glazman sent two of his
employees to take Plaintiff's ID, keys, van, routes, bank
cards, scanners, bungees, and EZ Pass transponders.
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges that "out of nowhere,
[she] was wrongfully terminated. No. warning. No.
reason." (Id. at p.7). Plaintiff alleges that
U.S. Pack Logistics breached the contract and wrongfully
terminated her without cause. (Id. at p.8).
spoke to Glazman several times seeking her pay.
(Id.). She alleges that he refused to pay her and
then "bad mouthed" her to Ark Logistics not to hire
her and stay away from her because she was bad news.
(Id.). Plaintiff last spoke to Glazman in early
September 2014. (D.I. 1-1 at p.4).
commenced this action on August 24, 2017 in Superior Court
and Defendants removed it to this Court on October 6, 2017.
Following the case's removal, Plaintiff filed a motion
for removal of Defendants' attorneys. (D.I. 16). On
November 13, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to compel
arbitration and dismiss the case.
FOR REMOVAL OF DEFENDANTS' ATTORNEYS
moves for removal of defense counsel Peter P. Perla, Erin L.
Henderson, and Pete Fidopiastis on conflict of interest
grounds. (D.I. 16). She also makes a request for Defendants
to choose only one of their attorneys, either Eric M. Sutty
or Jonathan M. Stemerman, to represent them. (Id.).
Plaintiff contends that Perla and Henderson must be removed
as attorneys due to their previous representation of
Defendants. (D.I. 24 at ¶¶ 7-9). (D.I. 18).
Defendants oppose on the grounds that there are no grounds
for their removal.
relies upon ABA Model Rule 1.9 to support her
position. It provides, as follows:
Rule 1.9 - Duties to Former Clients
(a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a
matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the
same or a substantially related matter in which that
person's interests are materially adverse to the
interests of the former client unless the former client gives
informed consent, confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the
same or a substantially related matter in which a firm with
which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously
represented a client
(1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person;
(2) about whom the lawyer had acquired information protected
by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter;
unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in
(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a
matter or whose present or former firm has formerly
represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:
(1) use information relating to the representation to the
disadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would
permit or require with respect to a client, or when the