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Rates Technology Inc. v. Mediatrix Telecom

June 29, 2007

RATES TECHNOLOGY INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MEDIATRIX TELECOM, INC. AND MEDIA5 CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

The Court is in receipt of Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson's Report and Recommendation with respect to (1) Mediatrix Telecom, Inc.'s and Media5 Corporation's (collectively, "Defendants") motion for a Markman hearing, (2) Defendants' motion pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss and as a discovery sanction, (3) Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 11, (4) Plaintiff Rates Technology Inc.'s ("Plaintiff") motion for leave to file a First Amended Complaint, and (5) Plaintiff's and Defendants' motions for costs and attorneys' fees, dated March 16, 2007 ("Report and Recommendation"). Magistrate Judge Tomlinson recommended that this Court (1) deny Defendants' request for an immediate Markman hearing, (2) deny Defendants' Rule 11 motion to dismiss and as a discovery sanction, (3) deny Defendants' motion to dismiss under Rule 11, (4) grant Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a First Amended Complaint, and (5) deny Plaintiff's and Defendants' motions for costs and attorneys' fees. Presently pending before the Court are Defendants' objections to the Report and Recommendation with respect to Defendants' Rule 11 motions and Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a First Amended Complaint. At the outset, the Court hereby ADOPTS those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which no party objects; namely, denial of Defendants' request for an immediate Markman hearing and both parties motions for costs and attorneys' fees.

BACKGROUND

The Report and Recommendation sets forth the facts of this case in a thorough manner, and therefore, the Court will not recite them. To the extent the parties require a primer, the Court refers them to the Report and Recommendation.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard Of Review

"When evaluating the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, the district court may adopt those portions of the report to which no objections have been made and which are not facially erroneous." Walker v. Vaughan, 216 F. Supp. 2d 290, 291 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (citation omitted). A party may serve and file specific, written objections to a magistrate's report and recommendation within ten days of receiving the recommended disposition. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b). Upon receiving any timely objections to the magistrate's recommendation, the district "court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). A party that objects to a report and recommendation must point out the specific portions of the report and recommendation to which they object. See Barratt v. Joie, No. 96-CV-324, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3453, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. March 4, 2002) (citations omitted).

When a party raises an objection to a magistrate judge's report, the Court must conduct a de novo review of any contested sections of the report. See Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). However, "[w]hen a party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation only for clear error." Barratt, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3453, at *2 (citations omitted).

Defendants make specific objections to three conclusions reached by Magistrate Judge Tomlinson. Specifically, Judge Tomlinson concluded that (1) the Rule 11 motion to dismiss should be denied, (2) Plaintiff withdrew the Complaint within Rule 11's "safe-harbor" period by filing a motion for leave to file a First Amended Complaint, and (3) Plaintiff should be granted leave to file a First Amended Complaint. The Court, therefore, will engage in a de novo review of such specified findings of the Report and Recommendation. Under the de novo standard, the Court will make an independent determination of these issues, giving no deference to any previous resolution. See Nomura Sec. Int'l, Inc. v. E*Trade Sec., Inc., 280 F. Supp. 2d 184, 198 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). The Court is not limited to consideration of evidence presented to the magistrate judge, but may review the entire record. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).

II. Rule 11

A. Legal Standard

Rule 11 requires that an attorney sign every pleading, written motion, and other paper filed with the courts. Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a). By doing so, the attorney certifies that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,-

(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;

(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a non-frivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of ...


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