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Babcock v. Computer Associates International

February 9, 2007

STEVEN BABCOCK, ON BEHALF OF THE COMPUTER MANAGEMENT SCIENCES, INC., EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN AND TRUST, AND HIMSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS
v.
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC., JERRY DAVIS, ANTHONY V. WEIGHT, WALTER S. MILLSAPS, IRA ZAR, HALSEY WISE, STEVEN WOGHIN, COMPUTER MANAGEMENT SCIENCES, INC., DONALD C. WHITE AND COMPUTER MANAGEMENT SCIENCES, INC. EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN AND TRUST FULLY AND AS NOMINAL DEFENDANTS. DEFENDANT,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Pending before the Court is a motion for a certificate of appealability or in the alternative, a motion for reconsideration. This motion was brought by Defendants, Computer Associates International, Inc. ("CA"), Jerry Davis ("Davis"), Anthony V. Weight ("Weight"), Walter S. Millsaps ("Millsaps"), Ira Zar, Halsey Wise, Steven Woghin, Computer Management Sciences, Inc. ("CMSI"), Donald C. White, and Computer Management Sciences, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust ("Plan") (collectively, the "Defendants"). For the reasons below, the Court DENIES Defendants' motion for a certificate of appealability and reconsideration.

At this point, the parties to this case are familiar with the facts. Thus, the Court need not recite them again. The Court refers the parties to its statement of facts in its previous order denying summary judgment and fully incorporates them in this Order. See Babcock v. Computer Assocs. Int'l, Inc., 00-CV-1648 (E.D.N.Y. March 28, 2006) (order denying summary judgment).

DISCUSSION

Defendants base their motion on this Court's finding that Plaintiffs have standing. Defendants contend that the Second Circuit has yet to rule on the issue of standing in this case. Defendants cite cases in other circuits that have similar facts to this action. In those other cases, those courts found that the plaintiffs had no standing. The cases Defendants rely upon hail from Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Texas.

I. Standard For Certificate Of Appealability

Generally, a party may appeal only final decisions of a district court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1291; Mayers v. N.Y. Cmty. Bancorp, Inc., 03-CV-5837, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48778, at *27 (E.D.N.Y. July 18, 2006). However, district courts may certify certain issues for interlocutory appeal. See 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). Before a district court certifies an issues for interlocutory appeal, the district court must find that (1) "the order involves a controlling question of law [(2)] as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and [(3)] that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation." 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).

The certification procedure is "not intended to open the floodgates to a vast number of appeals from interlocutory orders in ordinary litigation." Mayers, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48778, at *29 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The Second Circuit cautions district courts to strictly limit the use of the certification procedure. See In re Flor, 79 F.3d 281, 284 (2d Cir. 1996). "Only exceptional circumstances [will] justify a departure from the basic policy of postponing appellate review until after the entry of a final judgment." Id. (quoting Klinghoffer v. S.N.C. Achille Lauro, 921 F. 2d 21, 25 (2d Cir. 1990)).

The Second Circuit has also noted that the "mere presence of a disputed issue that is a question of first impression, standing alone, is insufficient to demonstrate a substantial ground for difference of opinion." Id. The district judge's duty is "to analyze the strengths of the arguments in opposition to the challenged ruling when deciding whether the issue for appeal is truly one on which there is a substantial ground for dispute." Id.

Even when the statutory criteria are met, district court judges have "broad discretion to deny certification." Mayers, 2006 U.S Dist. LEXIS 48778, at *30 (quoting Nat'l Asbestos Workers Med. Fund v. Philip Morris, Inc., 71 F. Supp. 2d 139, 166 (E.D.N.Y. 1999)). In this scenario, district courts must consider "(1) the benefit of further factual development and a complete record on appeal, particularly in rapidly developing or unsettled areas of the law; (2) the time an appeal would likely take; (3) the need for a stay pending appeal and the effect on the litigation, including discovery, that would result from a stay; and (4) the probability that other issues may moot the need for the interlocutory appeal." Id. (quoting Nat'l Asbestos Workers Med. Fund, 71 F. Supp. 2d at 163) (internal quotation marks omitted).

II. Application

The Court now turns to the facts at hand and finds that it must deny Defendants' motion for an interlocutory appeal. First, not all the statutory criteria have been met in this case.

Second, the Court has considered the factors stated above and find that they weigh in favor ...


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