United States District Court, S.D. New York
November 14, 2005.
REINO DE ESPANA, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN BUREAU OF SHIPPING, et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD ELLIS, Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Reino de España ("Spain") brings this case arising
from the casualty and sinking of the Prestige off the coast of
Spain in 2002 against American Bureau of Shipping ("ABS"), and
other defendants. On April 19, 2005, the Court granted each party
fifty-depositions. The Court held that a party could make an
application for any depositions beyond the fifty-deposition limit
as long as it explained why the person was not taken in the first
round of fifty depositions, and the importance of that person.
See Tr. p. 28, ll. 10-22. The Court also ruled that the
opposing party would have an opportunity to comment on the
relative importance of the proposed additional witnesses. Id.
On November 4, 2005, in a conference before the Court, Spain
requested relief from the fifty-deposition limit. The Court
denied the request. Spain now requests reconsideration of the
fifty-deposition limit. For the reasons which follow, Spain's
request for reconsideration is DENIED.
II. STANDARD FOR RECONSIDERATION
Spain may move for reconsideration of the Order on the basis of
"mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect." Rule
60(b)(1), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Spain must outline "the matters or controlling decisions which counsel
believes the court has overlooked." Local Rule 6.3.
Reconsideration is merited if Spain can "demonstrate that the
Court overlooked controlling decisions or factual matters that
were put before it on the underlying motion." Shamis v.
Ambassador Factors Corp., 187 F.R.D. 148, 151 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).
The matters must "reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion
reached by the court." Davidson v. Scully, 172 F. Supp. 2d 458,
461 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). "Local Rule 6.3 is to be narrowly construed
and strictly applied so as to avoid repetitive arguments on
issues that have been considered fully by the court." Id.
The fifty-deposition limit was addressed by the Court on
October 17, 2005, and was again considered, and reaffirmed on
November 4, 2005. On October 14, 2005, Spain had submitted a
letter outlining the outstanding discovery disputes between the
parties. In its letter, and orally at the October 17, 2005
conference, Spain requested leave to depose fifty-three ABS
witnesses. In light of its April 19, 2005 ruling, the Court held
that the parties must abide by the fifty-deposition limit.
On November 1, 2005, Spain submitted a new letter to the Court
outlining remaining discovery disputes in the case. In its
letter, and orally at a conference on November 4, 2005, Spain
renewed its request for relief from the fifty-deposition limit.
Spain requested permission to depose fifty-nine ABS witnesses,
and argued that vis-a-vis ABS, its discovery concerns a longer
period of inquiry, more claims, and more defendants to
investigate. ABS objected to Spain's request, and contended that
there had already been sufficient testimony on the issues Spain
is concerned about. The Court denied Spain's request on November
In support of its request for reconsideration, Spain submits to
the Court that by the time the fifty-deposition limit was set on April 19, 2005, Spain had
already deposed twenty-four witnesses. Spain maintains that
although it endeavored to take the most relevant persons at the
time, it may not have taken some of the depositions in retrospect
if it was aware from the beginning that it would be limited to
fifty depositions for party and non-party witnesses. Spain's
argument is unpersuasive. Spain does not meet the standard set in
the Court's April 19, 2005 ruling. Spain has produced no new
evidence or information that would merit a reconsideration or
modification of the fifty-deposition limit. Spain's request is
Spain's arguments are without merit, and do not point to any
"controlling decisions or factual matters that were put before
[the Court] on the underlying motion" and which the Court
overlooked. Shamis, 187 F.R.D. at 151. In light of the
foregoing, Spain's request for reconsideration is DENIED.
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