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Christine Clover and Stephanie Cortes, et al v. Shiva Realty of Mulberry

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


December 7, 2011

CHRISTINE CLOVER AND STEPHANIE CORTES, ET AL., PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHIVA REALTY OF MULBERRY, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert P. Patterson, Jr., U.S.D.J.,

OPINION AND ORDER

On September 30, 2011, the Court awarded attorney's fees to Milman Labuda Law Group ("MLLG") against Defendants jointly and severally, other than Defendant Jaqueline Melson ("Melson"), in the amount of $29,391.50. See Clover v. Shiva Realty of Mulberry, Inc., No. 10 CV 1702 (RPP), 2011 WL 4530536 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2011). The Court awarded MLLG $850.00 against Melson. (Id.) On October 17, 2011, MLLG filed a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Fed. R. Civ. P.") and Local Civil Rule 6.3. Defendants, pro se, did not respond in opposition to the motion.

Local Civil Rule 6.3 requires the movant to set forth precisely the matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the Court has overlooked and "that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached" in order to prevail on a motion for reconsideration. See Wechsler v. Hunt Health Sys., Ltd., 285 F. Supp. 2d 343, 346 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (quotation omitted); see also Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). A party may not seize upon the motion for reconsideration as an opportunity to "advance new facts, issues or arguments not previously presented to the court." Abrahamson v. Bd. of Educ. of Wappingers Cent. School Dist., 237 F. Supp. 2d 507, 510 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (internal quotations omitted). Moreover, because a motion for reconsideration "is not a substitute for appeal," Morales v. Quintiles Transnational Corp., 25 F. Supp. 2d 369, 372 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (citations omitted), the legal standard "must be narrowly construed and strictly applied so as to dissuade repetitive arguments on issues that have been considered fully by the court." Hoffenberg v. Hoffman & Pollok, 296 F. Supp. 2d 504, 505 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (quotation and citation omitted).

MLLG argues that Melson should be jointly and severally liable to MLLG in the amount of $30,241.50 instead of the $850.00 for which the Court found her liable. MLLG raises no matters or controlling decisions of law that the Court overlooked in coming to its decision, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 60. Instead, MLLG asserts by affirmation that the Court overlooked the fact that MLLG represented Melson in all facets of the litigation and with no limitations placed on that representation. (See Affirmation of Joseph M. Labuda, dated October 17, 2011.) MLLG also contends that all legal work performed on behalf of Defendants was done collectively. (MLLG Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Reconsideration at 1.) MLLG argues that since Melson's husband retained it, she should pay for all services it provided for all Defendants,*fn1 citing to Kramer, Levin, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel v Aronoff, 638 F. Supp. 714, 721 (S.D.N.Y. 1986). Melson, however, did not sign the retainer agreement with MLLG or receive the monthly statements from MLLG. (MLLG Reply Affirmation, June 15, 2011, Ex. A.) There has been no showing that Melson was on notice of MLLG's billing statements as they were not addressed to her.


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