United States v. Copar Pumice Company, et al, No. 12-2104 (10th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The Government filed an interlocutory appeal in an action brought against Defendants Kelly Armstrong, Debbie Cantrup, Richard Cook, Shirley Cook and Copar Pumice Company, Inc. for trespass, conversion, and unjust enrichment. The claims were based on allegations that the Cooks and Copar removed and used undersized pumice from their mine in violation of their settlement agreement with the United States, the Jemez National Recreation Area Act ("JNRAA"), and other applicable regulations. Although the case was pending in district court, the Cooks and Copar filed an interlocutory appeal from discovery orders requiring their former and present law firms to produce documents containing legal advice counsel gave to them regarding the legality of mining, transporting, processing, and marketing pumice from their mine. Specifically, the Cooks and Copar appealed the denial of their motion for protective order and their motion to quash subpoenas, contending that the Tenth Circuit had appellate jurisdiction under the collateral order, "Perlman," and "pragmatic finality" doctrines. The United States filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Finding that jurisdiction did not arise under any of the cited doctrines, the Tenth Circuit granted the Government's motion to dismiss.