The Supreme Court has referred to "excusable neglect" as an "elastic
concept," insinuating that such a determination is "at bottom an
equitable one, taking account of all relevant circumstances surrounding
the party's omission." Pioneer Inv. Serv. Co. v. Brunswick Assoc.
Ltd. P'ship, 507 U.S. 380, 392, 395 (1993) (citation omitted).
Factors to be considered in evaluating excusable neglect include " the
danger of prejudice to the [non-movant],  the length of the delay and
its potential impact on judicial proceedings,  the reason for the
delay, including whether it was within reasonable control of the movant,
and  whether the movant acted in good faith." Silivanch, 333
F.3d at 366 (citing Pioneer, 507 U.S. at 395). Typically, the
first two Pioneer factors will favor the moving party:
[D]elay always will be minimal in actual if not
relative terms, and the prejudice to the
non-movant will often be negligible, since the
Rule requires a 4(a)(5) motion to be filed within
thirty days of the last day for filing a timely
notice of appeal. And rarely in the decided cases
is the absence of good faith at issue.
Id. (citation omitted). Despite the flexibility of the
"excusable neglect" standard and the existence of the four-factor test in
which three of the factors usually weigh in favor of the party seeking the extension, it is appropriate to focus on the
third factor: "the reason for the delay, including whether it was within
reasonable control of the movant." Id. (citation omitted).
Equitable considerations will "rarely if ever favor a party who fails to
follow the clear dictates of a court rule" and where "the rule is
entirely clear, we continue to expect that a party claiming excusable
neglect will, in the ordinary course lose under the Pioneer
test." Id. (citation omitted). See also
U.S. v. Hooper, 43 F.3d 26
, 28-29 (2d Cir. 1994) (per
curiam) (affirming denial of Rule 4(b) extension where delay resulted
from legal assistant's ignorance of the rules); Weinstock v. Cleary,
Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, 16 F.3d 501
, 503 (2d Cir. 1994)
(affirming denial of Rule 4(a)(5) extension where delay was due to a
misunderstanding of the rules, even though the rule in question was a "a
`trap' for the unsuspecting litigant.").