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Qatar National Bank v. Winmar

September 28, 2011

QATAR NATIONAL BANK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WINMAR, INC., DEFENDANT,
v.
AL JAZEERA INTERNATIONAL, THIRD PARTY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gladys Kessler United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Third-party Defendant Al Jazeera International ("Al Jazeera"), a division of Al Jazeera Satellite Network, an international news network headquartered in Doha, Qatar, and Plaintiff, Qatar National Bank ("QNB"), have filed Objections to the Report & Recommendation ("R&R"_ issued by Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola on July 15, 2011 ("July 15, 2011 Report") [Dkt. No. 119]. Upon consideration of the Objections, Oppositions, Replies, the Report & Recommendation, and the entire record herein, the Court concludes that the Objections will be granted in part and denied in part.

I. Background

This dispute involves two separate but related actions arising out of a 2005 agreement between Al Jazeera and Winmar, Inc., ("Winmar"), a Washington, D.C.-based construction firm, to construct a state-of-the-art television studio and office space for Al Jazeera at 1627 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The first action involves a dispute between QNB and Winmar, and relates to a wire transfer system Al Jazeera established at QNB to pay Winmar for its work. QNB alleged that in January 2006 it mistakenly sent a $474,677 payment to Winmar, on Al Jazeera's behalf, which Winmar refused to refund. On September 3, 2009, this Court granted QNB's Motion for Summary Judgment and entered judgment against Winmar for the full refund amount, plus prejudgment and post-judgment interest. See Qatar Nat'l Bank v. Winmar, Inc., 650 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2009).

The second action involves a dispute between Winmar and Al Jazeera, involving various claims and cross claims between the parties for breach of the parties' 2005 construction agreement ("2005 Agreement"), unjust enrichment, and mistake. From June 30, 2010 through July 2, 2010, a bench trial was held in this matter.*fn1 On September 29, 2010, this Court entered judgment against Al Jazeera in the amount of $1,472,625.50 plus prejudgment and post-judgment interest ("September 29, 2010 judgment"). See Winmar, Inc., v. Al Jazeera Int'l, 741 F. Supp. 2d 165. On October 28, 2010, Al Jazeera appealed this decision [Dkt. No. 74].*fn2

Shortly after the entry of judgment against Al Jazeera, the parties filed a series of post-judgment motions, including Winmar's Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment to Include Attorneys' Fees and Costs Plus Pre and Post Judgment Interest ("Winmar's Motion to Alter or Amend")(Oct. 13, 2010) [Dkt. No. 69], QNB's Motion for Entry of a Charging Order ("QNB's Motion for Charging Order") (Jan. 7, 2011)[Dkt. No. 88], and Winmar's Motion to Quash Notice of Seizure or in the Alternative to Permit Winmar to Execute upon Its Judgment Against Al Jazeera International ("Winmar's Motion to Quash")(Jan. 7, 2011) [Dkt. No. 90].

The Court subsequently referred these Motions to Magistrate Judge Facciola for a Report & Recommendation. See Notice to Counsel (Apr. 13, 2011) [Dkt. No. 109]; Order (June 10, 2011) [Dkt. No. 117]. On July 15, 2011, Magistrate Judge Facciola issued his Report & Recommendation for all three Motions.

On July 29, 2011, Al Jazeera and QNB each filed Objections to the Magistrate Judge's July 15, 2011 R&R. See Al Jazeera International's Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Proposed Findings and Recommendations ("Al Jazeera Objections") [Dkt. No. 121]; Objection to the Findings and Recommendations of Magistrate ("QNB Objections")[Dkt. No. 122]. On August 12, 2011, Winmar filed an Opposition to Al Jazeera and QNB's Objections. See Winmar Inc.'s Response to Objections to the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge ("Winmar Opp'n") [Dkt. No. 125]. On August 19, 2011, Al Jazeera and QNB filed replies to Winmar's opposition. See Al Jazeera International's Reply to Winmar Inc.'s Response to Al Jazeera International's Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Proposed Findings and Recommendations ("Al Jazeera Reply") [Dkt. No. 126]; Memorandum in Reply to Winmar Inc.'s Response to Objections to the Report and Recommendations of the Magistrate Judge ("QNB Reply") [Dkt. No. 127].

II. Anlaysis

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53 and LCvR 72.3(c), the court reviews objections to the factual findings and legal conclusions of a report & recommendation de novo. As no objections have been filed to the Magistrate Judge's R&R for QNB's Motion for a Charging Order, the Court will adopt his Recommendation and deny the Motion. Al Jazeera and QNB have, however, raised Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Recommendations for Winmar's Motion to Alter or Amend and Winmar's Motion to Quash.

A. Winmar's Motion to Alter or Amend

Al Jazeera raises Objections to the following portions of the July 15, 2011 R&R for Winmar's Motion to Alter and Amend: (1) the Recommendation that Winmar be permitted to file a new motion for attorneys' fees; (2) the Recommendation that prejudgment interest on the September 29, 2010 judgment be calculated as of March 9, 2006; (3) the Recommendation that Winmar's claim for post-judgment interest be governed by the construction contract rather than 28 U.S.C. ยง 1961; and (4) the Recommendation that the Court's September 29, 2010 judgment be vacated, instead ...


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