CPR Mgmt., S.A. v. Devon Park Bioventures, L.P.

The Third Circuit found itself at the tail end of arbitration and litigation that spanned multiple countries, at least three state courts, and the federal courts. Deutsche Bank loaned money to a company, and that company used the money to partner with and acquire the defendant. But when Deutsche Bank issued margin calls on the loan, the company that initially borrowed the money lacked funds to satisfy the call. Then, that company transferred money to numerous other entities, allegedly operated by family members, to avoid paying back the loan. The plaintiff was one of those entities. Litigation unfolded in England, New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The matter landed in arbitration, where the arbitrator ordered the defendant to pay the plaintiff. The plaintiff petitioned the Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania to affirm the arbitration award, but the case was removed to federal court and became the instant action. The defendant answered the petition and attempted to interplead Deutsche Bank according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 22. Deutsche Bank responded and filed claims. The District Court struck the interpleader complaint and dismissed all third parties and claims, reasoning that (1) a motion to confirm an arbitration award is a motion, not a pleading; and (2) a pleading is a prerequisite to Rule 22 interpleader; therefore, (3) the interpleader action was procedurally improper. The Third Circuit affirmed.

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