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JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

April 10, 2019

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Larry J. Winget; Larry J. Winget Living Trust, Defendants-Appellants.

          Argued: December 5, 2018

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. Nos. 2:08-cv-13845; 2:15-cv-13469-Avern Cohn, District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Thomas V. Hubbard, DREW, COOPER & ANDING, P.C., Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Appellants.

          James W. Ducayet, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Chicago, Illinois, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Thomas V. Hubbard, John E. Anding, DREW, COOPER & ANDING, P.C., Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Appellants.

          James W. Ducayet, Kendra L. Stead, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Chicago, Illinois, for Appellee.

          Before: DONALD, LARSEN, and NALBANDIAN, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          NALBANDIAN, Circuit Judge.

         This appeal is not the first time we have seen Larry Winget and JPMorgan Chase. Nor will it likely be the last. Winget's appeal du jour follows the district court's award of interim attorneys' fees to Chase. But because this order is not a "final decision" under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we lack jurisdiction and therefore dismiss Winget's appeal.

         I.

         We need not revisit each "chapter in [this] longstanding dispute between the parties." JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget, 602 Fed.Appx. 246, 248 (6th Cir. 2015) ("Winget I"). Suffice it to say, Chase sued Winget "to recover millions of dollars owed to it under a credit agreement between Chase and entities owned and operated by [Winget]." JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget, 678 Fed.Appx. 355, 356 (6th Cir. 2017) ("Winget II"). We decided the merits of the dispute and awarded Chase over $425 million. But there was a catch. While Winget's personal trust was on the hook for the full amount, Winget himself-protected by a limitation in his personal guaranty-owed Chase only $50 million (which he has since paid). Winget I, 602 Fed.Appx. at 258-59.

         The parties then litigated attorneys' fees-and whether Winget was personally liable for Chase's $12.6 million in fees and expenses. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget, 704 Fed.Appx. 410, 413-14 (6th Cir. 2017) ("Winget III"). Chase won again. Id. at 414-16. And we explained in that appeal that despite Winget's limited personal guaranty, he "is still liable for Chase's costs and expenses associated with collection of the Guaranteed Obligation." Id. at 418. The district court then entered a final ...


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