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Oak Forest Prods., Inc. v. Hiscock & Barclay, LLP

United States District Court, W.D. New York

July 14, 2015

OAK FOREST PRODUCTS, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
HISCOCK & BARCLAY, LLP, Defendant

For Oak Forest Products, Inc., a Florida Corporation, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Alexander D. Brown, Edward R Curtis, Peter G. Herman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Tripp Scott, PA, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Jonathan Benjamin Lewis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tripp Scott, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

For Oak Forest Products, Inc. (Taiwan), Michael Lai, Mr. Thomas Cartwright, Plaintiffs: Alexander D. Brown, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tripp Scott, PA, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

For Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, a New York Limited Liability Partnership, Defendant, Counter Claimant: Kevin E. Hulslander, LEAD ATTORNEY, Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C., Syracuse, NY; Karen Guyder Felter, Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C., Syracuse, NY.

For Oak Forest Products, Inc., a Florida Corporation, Counter Defendant: Edward R Curtis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tripp Scott, PA, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Jonathan Benjamin Lewis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Tripp Scott, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Page 77

DECISION and ORDER

DAVID G. LARIMER, United States District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This action arises from legal malpractice allegations against defendant Hiscock & Barclay LLP (" Hiscock & Barclay" ) related to its representation of Oak Forest

Page 78

Products, Inc. (" OFP" ), OFP's Taiwanese sister corporation Oak Forest Products, Inc. (Taiwan) (" OFP-Taiwan" ), OFP President and sole owner Thomas Cartwright (" Cartwright" ) and OFP-Taiwan President and sole owner Michael Lai (" Lai" ), concerning certain copyright and patent matters. On March 4, 2015 (Dkt. #138), the Court denied a motion by Hiscock & Barclay (Dkt. #108) for summary judgment dismissing the claims against it. Specifically, the Court found that: (1) the plaintiffs' settlement of copyright and patent claims in a related action did not foreclose them from pursuing malpractice claims for pre-litigation conduct by Hiscock & Barclay, particularly because there was evidence that the settlement of the underlying litigation was caused in part by the firm's alleged negligence, which diminished the potential damages recoverable; (2) there were material questions of fact as to whether plaintiffs suffered actual damages as a result of defendants' negligence; and (3) there were material questions of fact as to whether OFP-Taiwan, and individual plaintiffs Cartwright and Lai, had standing to allege malpractice claims against Hiscock & Barclay.

Hiscock & Barclay now moves for reconsideration of that Decision and Order pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 59(e) and Rule 7(d)(3) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure, and in the alternative, requests certification of an interlocutory appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). For the reasons that follow, that motion (Dkt. #140) is denied.

DISCUSSION

I. Motion for Reconsideration and Reargument

" Generally, motions for reconsideration are not granted unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked - matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court." Cioce v. County of Westchester, 128 Fed.Appx. 181, 185 (2d Cir. 2005) (unpublished opinion). A court may, in its discretion, reconsider its previous ruling if: " (1) there is an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) new evidence not previously available comes to light; or (3) it becomes necessary to remedy a clear error of law or to prevent obvious injustice." U.S. v. Billini, 2006 WL 3457834 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). " New evidence" is evidence that was unavailable to the movant when the Court made its previous ruling, and that could not have been found by due diligence. See Frankel v. City of New York, 2009 WL 4037818 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). See also Hines v. Overstock.com, Inc., 380 Fed.Appx. 22, 25 (2d Cir. 2010) (unpublished opinion). Thus, while reconsideration is appropriate where necessary to correct for " clear error" or to " prevent manifest injustice," Munafo v. Metro. Transp. Auth., 381 F.3d 99, 105 (2d ...


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