Legal Blog

The “Omnibus Order” – “Mutually Beneficial ‘Kitchen-sinking’” | Part One

“MBKS” or Mutually beneficial “kitchen-sinking.”  It’s a thing. . . . No, seriously, it is totally a thing!

Well, it should be!  Opposing counsel in a case recently blew me away with the suggestion that in a single order we might have the court nonsuit (voluntarily dismiss) some claims; nonsuit some arguably interested parties; allow and approve both interpleading of funds and partial payouts of non-interpleaded funds; conditionally dismiss the interpleading party; and generally streamline the pending case to the core factual/legal issue(s)/matters about which the remaining principal parties would be left to dispute.  “Not possible,” I was confident.  “No way a judge signs off on all that in a single order.”

I was willing to try it, of course,–this “omnibus order” approach, as I had dubbed it, where we would toss in everything but the “kitchen sink”–in hopes of achieving all of the above in inconceivably record time.  “Doubting Thomas” that I am, however, I had little expectation of this actually working and was confident it would only end up serving to add costs and delay unnecessarily to all of the procedural and substantive agreements we’d negotiated.  I waited for the inevitable call to come from the law clerk informing counsel that there were certain rules and procedures to be followed for these sorts of things, and asking (but not really asking) if I would we be so kind as to file the appropriate multitude of motions to be heard at the proper times on succeeding Fridays, etc. . . . etc.  But, as you’ve no doubt already discerned, the call never came.  The omnibus order was entered, and, as if having just scored an unexpected “Fast Pass” at Disneyworld, we shot to the front of the litigation roller-coaster line short-circuiting much of the anticipated pre-trial delays.

Attorneys, litigators in particular, are typically paid really well to know the law (or at least how to figure it out when and as necessary in a given situation!), and compensated even better if able to apply it effectively to their clients’ advantage.  Mutually beneficial “kitchen-sinking” is about saving clients’ time and money.  Adversaries willing to resolve multiple substantive and procedural matters in a single omnibus order well-serve their clients and, concomitantly, the legal system (by helping keep dockets unclogged and access unfettered) and themselves, to the extent one’s reputation–among both future adversaries and potential future clients. This a lawyer’s most valuable stock-in-trade. The increased value of which is immeasurably impacted by one’s own choices.

The best litigators know and apply the law to their clients’ substantive advantage with a time and cost efficiency that avoids results where “only the lawyers win,” because these lawyers understand that a pyrrhic victory is no victory at all.  One would be wise to remember that, to one’s client, “winning at all costs”–whether or not one’s client appreciates it at the time!–is typically tantamount to a loss. #MBKS!

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As a Principal with Offit Kurman’s Commercial Litigation Group, Mr. Repczynski is an Estate and Trust litigator and business litigation lawyer emphasizing will/trust disputes, creditors’ rights enforcement, and B2B business disputes.  Together with OK’s legal team now spanning from NYC to Charlotte, North Carolina, Tom provides general counsel to a wide array of businesses (foreign and domestic), associations (local and international non-profits), individuals (personally and in representative capacities), and lenders (traditional and Sharia) in federal, state, and bankruptcy courts as well as ADR and administrative proceedings relating primarily to inheritance-related disputes, general business contract and tort issues, and divorce-impacting bankruptcies.  Over the past 30 years, Tom has co-owned and operated an exterior painting business and a used furniture business; clerked in the Starr OIC and interned at both Main Justice and the Court of Federal Claims; chaired two local Bar association Boards, two community architectural review boards (VA and NC), and the Committee of Boy Scout Troop 688.  Tom currently chairs the South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce; announces local high school football games; actively supports local dance and musical theater; and umpires Little League games when time allows.




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