Klayman v. Porter

Docket Number23-7034
Decision Date12 January 2024
PartiesLarry Elliott Klayman, Appellant v. Julia Porter, et al.. Appellees
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

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Larry Elliott Klayman, Appellant
v.

Julia Porter, et al..
Appellees

No. 23-7034

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

January 12, 2024


Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. l:22-cv-00953)

Before: Millett and Rao, Circuit Judges, and Rogers, Senior Circuit Judge.

JUDGMENT

PER CURIAM

This case was considered on the record from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and on the briefs of the parties. The court has afforded the issues full consideration and determined they do not warrant a published opinion. See FED. R. APP. P. 36; D.C. CLR. R. 36(D). FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS, IT IS

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the appeal be DISMISSED

* * *

Larry Klayman sued District of Columbia Bar officials in Florida state court. After the officials removed the case to federal court, Klayman asked the district court to either dismiss the suit or remand to state court. The district court dismissed, but not for the reasons Klayman sought. He now appeals those reasons. But we review judgments, not reasons. Klayman lacks standing to appeal from the judgment he requested, and we dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

I.

The District of Columbia Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility oversees lawyer

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discipline and appoints counsel to prosecute disciplinary matters. D.C. Bar Rule XI, §§ 4(e), 6. Julia Porter and Hamilton Fox III, two officials in the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, prosecuted several ethics complaints against Klayman. See, e.g, In re Klayman, 282 A.3d 584, 587 (D.C. 2022); Klayman v. Lim, 830 Fed.Appx. 660, 661 (D.C. Cir. 2020) (per curiam); Klayman v. Porter, No. 22-13025, 2023 WL 2261814, at *1 (11th Cir. Feb. 28, 2023) (per curiam).

Klayman maintains these disciplinary proceedings were politically motivated. He sued Porter, Fox, and Matthew Kaiser, who was Chair of the Board, in Florida state court, alleging tortious interference, abuse of process, and violations of Klayman's state constitutional rights. He sought injunctive relief and damages of less than $75,000.

Invoking diversity jurisdiction, the defendants removed the case to federal court and moved to transfer the case to the District of Columbia. Klayman sought remand to state court, arguing the amount in controversy was insufficient. The District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied Klayman's motion to remand and transferred the case to the District of Columbia.

After the transfer, Klayman filed a new motion objecting to subject matter jurisdiction, again focusing on the amount in controversy. He sought either of two judgments: he asked the court to remand the case back to Florida state court or to "dismiss this case, without prejudice, for lack of... subject matter jurisdiction."

The Bar officials moved to dismiss with prejudice because official immunity barred the claims for damages and, under the abstention doctrine recognized in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), the court should abstain from enjoining ongoing bar disciplinary proceedings.

The district court gave Klayman the...

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