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Thieriot v. Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, LLP

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 6, 2015

ELIZABETH THIERIOT, individually and as TRUSTEE of the ELIZABETH THIERIOT REVOCABLE TRUST, and the ELIZABETH THIERIOT REVOCABLE TRUST, Plaintiffs,
v.
JASPAN SCHLESINGER HOFFMAN, LLP, STEPHEN P. EPSTEIN, LISA M. GOLDEN, ALAN K. HIRSCHHORN, and SETH H. ROSS, Defendants.

Theodore S. Steingut, Esq.,, New York, NY, for the Plaintiffs.

Paul R. McDougal, Esq., WALSH, MARKUS, McDOUGAL & DeBELLIS, LLP, Garden City, NY, for the Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DENIS R. HURLEY, District Judge.

Elizabeth Thieriot ("Thieriot" or "plaintiff") and the Elizabeth Thieriot Revocable Trust ("the Trust") (collectively "plaintiffs") commenced this action alleging malpractice claims against the law firm Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman, LLP, and four of its partners, Stephen P. Epstein ("Epstein"), Lisa M. Golden ("Golden"), Alan K. Hirschhorn ("Hirschhorn"), and Seth H. Ross ("Ross") (collectively "defendants"). On March 6, 2013, Judge Platt issued a decision denying defendants' motion for summary judgment ("the Summary Judgment Order"). On August 27, 2013, Judge Platt granted defendants' motion for reconsideration of the Summary Judgment Order ("the First Reconsideration Order") and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. Subsequently, on May 30, 2014, Judge Platt granted plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of the First Reconsideration Order and vacated that order ("the Second Reconsideration Order"). On July 8, 2014, the case was transferred to this Court. Presently before the Court is defendants' motion for reconsideration of the Second Reconsideration Order. For the reasons set forth below, the defendants' motion is granted, and upon reconsideration, the Court vacates a portion of the Second Reconsideration Order as described below.

BACKGROUND

The Court assumes familiarity with the facts and procedural history of this case as set forth in Judge Platt's prior orders.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

The decision to grant or deny a motion for reconsideration lies squarely within the discretion of the district court. See Devlin v. Transp. Comm'ns Int'l Union, 175 F.3d 121, 132 (2d Cir. 1999). The standard for a motion for reconsideration "is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or [factual] data that the court overlooked-matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court." Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995); accord Arum v. Miller, 304 F.Supp.2d 344, 347 (E.D.N.Y. 2003); see also U.S. Titan, Inc. v. Guangzhou Zhen Hua Shipping Co., 182 F.R.D. 97, 100 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (concluding that a motion for reconsideration under Local Civil Rule 6.3 "provides the Court with an opportunity to correct manifest errors of law or fact, hear newly discovered evidence, consider a change in the applicable law or prevent manifest injustice"). The moving party, however, may not repeat "arguments already briefed, considered and decided." Schonberger v. Serchuk, 742 F.Supp. 108, 119 (S.D.N.Y.1990); accord Polsby v. St. Martin's Press, Inc., 2000 WL 98057, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2000); see also Medoy v. Warnaco Employees' Long Term Disability Ins. Plan, 2006 WL 355137 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 15, 2006) ("The standard for... reconsideration is strict in order to dissuade repetitive arguments on issues that have already been considered fully by the Court.").

II. Discussion

In the Summary Judgment Order, Judge Platt summarized plaintiffs' legal malpractice claim as follows:

The gravamen of plaintiffs' legal malpractice claim is that defendant firm was negligent in the drafting of the real estate contract for the premises, failed to advise plaintiff with regard to waiving the title exceptions, failed to advise plaintiff to attend the closing given the implied obligation of good faith in all contracts and failed to advise plaintiff about resigning as the trustee of her revocable trust.

(Summary Judgment Order at 16.) Moreover:

[p]laintiffs also complain that defendants' performance with respect to the specific performance litigation was negligent because defendants failed to: advise plaintiff of the unlikelihood of her success on the merits; interpose the lack of ownership [of the premises] defense despite researching the issue; and failed to conform the pleadings in that action to raise that defense. Plaintiffs further contend that defendants committed malpractice during the ...

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