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Sue L. Robinson: How Waiver Can Affect a Motion for Reconsideration

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Where is the line between rehashing arguments and offering new evidence in seeking reconsideration of a ruling? According to a recent decision by district judge Sue L. Robinson, the waiver doctrine can play a primary role in this determination.

In disposing of a request to recalculate a lost-profits award, the Court noted that the movant never raised its remittitur argument in the initial post-trial proceedings. As a result, the movant not only waived its ability to raise the argument, but also prompted a rebuke from the Court:

“The present motion reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the limited appropriateness of motions for reconsideration. There is no alleged change in law or new evidence. A ‘manifest injustice’ does not result from the court’s failure to consider arguments not properly made by defendant in its prior motion to amend the judgment. As this court has iterated in previous cases, a motion for reconsideration is not properly grounded on a request that a court rethink a decision already made.”

Strong words to consider when formulating positions for a post-trial (or any) motion.

Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc. v. Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics Inc., C.A. No. 07-190-SLR (D. Del. Dec. 16, 2009) (Robinson, J.).

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