1 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 1993), 1685, Cooper v. Salomon Bros. Inc.

Docket Nº:1685, 1882, Dockets 92-9319, 93-7135.
Citation:1 F.3d 82
Party Name:Leon E. COOPER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SALOMON BROTHERS INC., Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:July 20, 1993
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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1 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 1993)

Leon E. COOPER, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

SALOMON BROTHERS INC., Defendant-Appellee.

Nos. 1685, 1882, Dockets 92-9319, 93-7135.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

July 20, 1993

Argued June 1, 1993.

Page 83

Leon E. Cooper, pro se.

Robert H. Baron, New York City (Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York City, of counsel), for appellee.

Before: MESKILL and JACOBS, Circuit Judges, and RESTANI, [*] Judge.

MESKILL, Circuit Judge:

Leon E. Cooper, an attorney, appeals pro se from three orders entered in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, Burns, J., which, among other things, denied Cooper's motions for preliminary relief, stayed discovery against Salomon Brothers Inc. (Salomon), dismissed Cooper's action in its entirety and imposed sanctions against him pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 11. We dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction that portion of the appeal dealing with sanctions, and we dismiss as moot that portion of

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the appeal dealing with the stay of discovery and denial of preliminary relief. In all other respects we affirm the orders of the district court.

This case, although argued on the merits, presents us with certain important jurisdictional questions. The parties conceded at oral argument, and we now hold, that we lack jurisdiction to consider the imposition of sanctions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 because the district court has not yet determined the dollar amount of the sanctions. We also hold that our lack of jurisdiction over the issue of sanctions does not taint our jurisdiction over other final decisions rendered in the case. Finally, we hold that we may exercise jurisdiction over the final decisions rendered even though no separate judgment has been entered by the clerk of the district court.

BACKGROUND

On September 8, 1992, Cooper filed a complaint against Salomon seeking damages of $530 million plus 50 percent of Salomon's equity plus additional costs. The district court had diversity jurisdiction over the case, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(a)(1); the plaintiff is a citizen of Connecticut and the defendant retains its principal place of business in New York and is incorporated in Delaware. The complaint alleged that Cooper furnished senior White House officials memoranda that saved Salomon from criminal indictment and that he was therefore entitled to compensation. On November 10, 1992, Cooper amended his complaint (amended complaint) by adding a civil claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1961 et seq. (RICO) and by increasing the amount of damages sought to $1.59 billion plus 150 percent of Salomon's equity. Following a warning from Judge Burns that he could be subject to sanctions if he failed to withdraw his amended complaint, Cooper instead filed an "ordered amendment" on December 16, 1992 supposedly curing the defects in his amended complaint.

Cooper appeals three orders of Judge Burns summarized below:

November 16 Order. On November 16, 1992, the court granted by endorsement Salomon's motion for a protective order staying discovery pending the disposition of Salomon's motion to dismiss.

November 18 Order. On November 18, 1992, the court granted Salomon's motions to set aside an erroneous default and to dismiss the original complaint. The court denied Cooper's motions (1) for entry of default judgment, (2) for sequestration of Salomon's assets, and (3) for an injunction prohibiting Salomon from filing for bankruptcy protection. The court also denied other miscellaneous motions filed by Cooper. Finally, the court denied Salomon's motion for sanctions, but did so without prejudice to a later renewal of the motion.

January 12 Order. On January 12, 1993, the...

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