former national magazine editor. Studer is Novak's professional
show business partner. Together they created, wrote, produced
and starred in a series of fifteen comedy segments called "The
Video Vault" on New York's WOR-TV, a national satellite
superstation. Both are New York residents.
Defendant National Broadcasting Company, Inc. ("NBC"), a
Delaware Corporation with offices in New York, has for many
years broadcast Saturday Night Live ("SNL"), an acclaimed
late-night comedy show. Defendant NBC Productions, a subsidiary
of NBC, also has offices in New York. Defendant Brandon
Tartikoff ("Tartikoff"), during the time of the events giving
rise to this dispute, was president of NBC Entertainment, a
division of NBC with offices in New York.
Defendant Broadway Video, Inc. ("Broadway Video"), a
production company that produces SNL jointly with NBC
productions, is a New York corporation with its principal place
of business in New York. Defendant Lorne Michaels ("Michaels")
is president of Broadway Video and the Executive producer of
SNL. Defendant Dinah Minot ("Minot") is an independent
contractor who has been involved in SNL's production.
Prior Proceedings and Facts
The proceedings prior to the motion to reargue as well as the
relevant facts are set forth in the Court's opinion of December
5, 1990 granting summary judgment (the "Opinion") and need not
be restated here.
On December 20, 1990, Novak and Studer filed this motion to
reargue. Pursuant to Rule 3(j), the court did not hear oral
argument on this motion. The motion was considered submitted as
of January 4, 1991.
Novak and Studer base their motion on existing facts which
they claim the court overlooked, on case law which they claim
the court misinterpreted, and on new evidence which they claim
to have discovered since the issue of the Opinion.
To be entitled to reargument under Rule 3(j), Novak and
Studer must demonstrate that the court overlooked controlling
decisions or factual matters that were put before the court on
the underlying motion. Ashley Meadows Farm v. Am. Horse Shows
Ass'n, 624 F. Supp. 856, 857 (S.D.N.Y. 1985).
Rule 60(b)(2) provides that a party may make a motion for a
court to relieve it from a final judgment or order on the basis
of "newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not
have been discovered in time. . . ." In order to succeed on
such a motion, the movant must present evidence that is "truly
newly discovered or could not have been found by due
diligence." United States v. Potamkin Cadillac Corp.,
697 F.2d 491, 493 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 462 U.S. 1144, 103 S.Ct.
3128, 77 L.Ed.2d 1379 (1983), (citing Westerly Electronics
Corp. v. Walter Kidde & Co., 367 F.2d 269, 270 (2d Cir. 1966)).
Moreover, in deciding a Rule 60(b) motion, a court must
balance the policy of hearing a litigant's claims on the merits
against the policy in favor of finality. Kotlicky v. U.S.
Fidelity & Guar. Co., 817 F.2d 6, 9 (2d Cir. 1987), citing 11
C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §
2857 (1973). The new evidence brought to the attention of the court
must therefore be "highly convincing." Kotlicky, at 9.
1. The Gangster Skit Claim
A. Independent Creation